The Grinch that stole Christmas this year is undoubtedly Senate Democrats who are unwilling to end the government shutdown.
The lawmakers themselves are not the only ones affected, but the staff and some administration officials, including President Trump, are staying behind in Washington to settle the shutdown holdout.
The president announced his decision to stay over social media, saying: “I will not be going to Florida because of the Shutdown – Staying in the White House!”
As the current shutdown has no clear indication for when it could end and could very well continue over Christmas, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced on Sunday that First Lady Melania Trump will be heading back to Washington to spend the holiday with her husband.
Melania left on Friday with their 12-year-old son, Barron, for their Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, CNN reports.
“Due to the shutdown, President Trump will remain in Washington, D.C. and the First Lady will return from Florida so they can spend Christmas together,” Sanders said via the report.
The Washington Examiner added:
Trump was supposed to leave Friday for the 16-day vacation, but he announced that he would be staying at the White House as the Senate attempted to compromise on legislation to keep the government funded into the new year.
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Earlier Friday, the Federal Aviation Administration canceled the temporary flight restrictions for airspace around Mar-a-Lago that had been put in place from Dec. 21-Jan. 6 in anticipation of the president’s trip.
Despite negotiations and a visit to Capitol Hill by top administration members including Vice President Mike Pence, Democrats and some Republicans could not get on board with legislation that included more than $5 billion for a U.S.-Mexico border wall.
Melania will be heading back to the White House that she helped decorate for the Christmas season, which included red-themed trees that have been a hit with visitors, Stars & Stripes reports.
Per the report:
Melania Trump’s cranberry topiary trees may have left some of her critics seeing red, but they turned out to be a Christmas hit — one of several new ideas the Trumps introduced this holiday season.
In a four-week stretch of 21 holiday parties, the president also did fewer official photo ops and largely froze out the media. But in time-honored tradition, though, politicos still used the celebrations to squeeze in last-minute deal-making.
Trump’s decision to place more than 40 red trees on a green carpet along the East Wing colonnade turned out to be quite the attraction: Pedestrian traffic jams formed as guests clamored to be photographed in front of the unusual holiday landscape .
“Every single person that came through the East Wing stopped for a photo,” said conservative commentator Paris Dennard, a recent guest.
Armstrong Williams, another conservative commentator, tweeted photos of himself posing in front of the trees made using fake berry branches.
“I thought it was just classy,” he said. “Great for photos.”