NRSC Hands Out 'I Shut Down the Government' T-Shirts to Schumer, Top Democrats

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer / Getty Images
January 23, 2018

The campaign arm of Senate Republicans on Tuesday capitalized on the government shutdown ending the prior night by handing out t-shirts that read "I shut down the government" to Senate Democrats.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee, which helps the GOP win Senate seats across the country, went to several Senate Democrats' offices on Capitol Hill and handed out the shirts, which read, "I shut down the government and all I got was this lousy t-shirt."

"Senate Democrats wasted the entire country's time with the pointless Schumer Shutdown, jeopardizing national security and delaying an extension of health insurance for 8.9 million children, while gaining absolutely nothing in return, other than a headache and bad press," the NRSC said in a press release, referring to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.).

"The NRSC will be giving a Schumer Shutdown t-shirt, manufactured right here in the U.S.A. as our economy continues to boom under GOP leadership, to each member of the Senate Democratic Caucus so that they won't forget what happens when they shut down the federal government for no reason and with no endgame in mind," the press release continued.

NRSC communications director Katie Martin tweeted pictures of someone holding up the t-shirts in front of multiple Senate Democrat offices, including those of Schumer, Bob Casey (Penn.), Bill Nelson (Fla.), and Kamala Harris (Calif.).

"We can't forget the mastermind behind it all! You get a shirt too @chuckschumer! #SchumerShutdown," Martin tweeted.

".@SenateDems will be the proud owners of these t-shirts seeing they walked away empty handed from the #SchumerShutdown @SenBobCasey just got his!" Martin tweeted.

"Suns out guns out for @SenBillNelson in the t-shirt we just delivered! #SchumerShutdown #sayfie #FLSen," she added.

"And because we know she's running in 2020 @SenKamalaHarris definitely needs a shirt! #capolitics," Martin wrote, referring to rumors that Harris is mulling a 2020 presidential run.

NRSC's deputy communications director, Bob Salera, said that Sen. Elizabeth Warren's (Mass.) office did not want the t-shirt "gift."

On Friday, all but five Senate Democrats voted against a short-term continuing resolution to fund the government through Feb. 16, which would have avoided a government shutdown. The shutdown began at midnight on Friday after lawmakers could not pass a spending bill.

Many Democrats had said they would not vote for any government-funding legislation that did not address the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), which provides legal protections to immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

Three days later, Schumer announced on Monday that he reached a deal with Senate Republican leadership to reopen the government. Both the Senate and the House then easily passed legislation to fund the government for three weeks, but only after Democrats received GOP assurances that Congress would find a solution to the DACA issue in the coming weeks.

President Donald Trump on Monday night signed the stopgap bill, officially ending the three-day-long government shutdown.