For several days, Trump has been playing to his base by falsely claiming that a government shutdown would place U.S. military troops at risk. He accused Democrats of being responsible for the shutdown, and said they are “far more concerned with Illegal Immigrants than they are with our great Military or Safety at our dangerous Southern Border.”
Trump added that Democrats are “holding our Military hostage over their desire to have unchecked illegal immigration.”
On Sunday, he continued to tweet military mistruths, adding this time that Republicans are “fighting for our Military and Safety at the Border.”
But the notion that the government impasse would shut down the military was thoroughly debunked by The Washington Post on Friday. The Post’s Salvador Rizzo wrote that while it’s hard to know exactly what Trump is referring to, since he speaks in broad generalizations meant solely to stir up his base, there is little truth to the president’s claims, no matter which way one approaches them.
According to the Post (emphasis mine):
When the government runs out of money to fund itself, it goes into shutdown mode — offices close, droves of workers get furloughed and many services go offline. A federal statute, the Antideficiency Act, generally bars agencies from spending money that Congress and the president have not appropriated.
But the law has big exceptions, notably for military and intelligence operations, national security, and emergencies involving “the safety of human life or the protection of property.” Trump and the Defense Department would have broad authority to keep running whatever military operations they deemed necessary.
Sen. Tammy Duckworth, from IL, an actual war hero who lost both of her legs in the Iraq War, had heard enough from Trump, a notorious Vietnam War draft dodger. On Saturday, she delivered a speech on the Senate floor reprimanding the five–time draft dodger and coining a new nickname for him, because Trump loves his disparaging nicknames. “Cadet Bone Spurs,” she called him.
“Does he even know that there are service members who are in harm’s way right now watching him, looking for the commander in chief to show leadership rather than to try to deflect blame? Or that his own Pentagon says that the short-term funding plan that he seems intent on pushing is actually harmful to not just the military, but to our national security?”
And this is where it gets good:
“I spent my entire adult life looking out for the well-being, the training, the equipping of the troops for whom I was responsible. Sadly, this is something the current occupant of the Oval Office does not seem to care to do.
“And I will not be lectured about what our military needs by a five-deferment draft-dodger. And I have a message for Cadet Bone Spurs: If you cared about our military, you’d stop baiting Kim Jong Un into a war that could put 85,000 American troops and millions of innocent civilians in danger.”