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Outgoing GOP lawmaker blasts shutdown: ‘Things are not well in the USA’

The Hill logo The Hill 12/22/2018 Brett Samuels

a man wearing a suit and tie: Rep. Carlos Curbelo © Greg Nash Rep. Carlos Curbelo Outgoing Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) on Saturday lamented the "instability & chaos" in Washington heading into the latest government shutdown, noting that the last few days have been more turbulent than any he can remember.

"Still with the benefit (or curse) of an inside perspective, I must say that the instability & chaos in our government the past few days has been particularly pronounced - worse than at any point during my service in Congress, & really, my lifetime," Curbelo tweeted.

"Things are not well in the USA," he added.

Curbelo, a moderate Republican who lost his reelection bid last month and will leave Congress in January, is one of eight House Republicans who voted against more than $5 billion in funding for President Trump's border wall this week.

The House managed to pass that measure, but it was stonewalled in the Senate, triggering a partial government shutdown at the end of the day on Friday. Hundreds of thousands of government employees will be furloughed or will work without pay in the meantime.

The White House early in the week had signaled it would accept a funding bill to keep the government open that contained less than Trump's desired $5 billion in wall funding, but the president reversed course late in the week amid criticism from his staunchest conservative supporters.

Friday's shutdown, which affects about 25 percent of the federal government, is the third shutdown in the past year.

It capped off a tumultuous few days in Washington that saw Trump announce a withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria, despite concerns from lawmakers and Pentagon officials. The Trump administration has also indicated it may draw down forces in Afghanistan.

Defense Secretary James Mattis announced Thursday he will resign from his position effective in February after he reportedly was unable to get Trump to change his mind on his Syria strategy. Mattis's resignation letter was filled with implicit criticism of the president's treatment of U.S. allies.

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