Former GOP lawmaker: Republicans know shutdown is ‘a fight they cannot win’

Retired GOP Rep. Charlie DentCharles (Charlie) Wieder DentThe Hill's Morning Report - Government is funded, but for how long? Ex-GOP lawmaker says his party is having a 'Monty Python' moment on shutdown Former GOP lawmaker: Republicans know shutdown is ‘a fight they cannot win’ MORE (Pa.) on Monday blamed the ongoing government shutdown on Republicans, saying his own party knows it is “a fight they cannot win.”

“This whole shutdown is so completely unnecessary,” he said on CNN. “This is so easily averted. The party that makes the policy demand owns the shutdown. And so I think on the Republican side, this is just a fight they cannot win and they know it.”

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Dent left Congress in May after deciding against seeking reelection for his congressional seat. He's now a contributor at CNN.

Dent criticized GOP leaders on Monday, saying the reported meeting between President TrumpDonald John TrumpPresenting the 2020 Democratic bracket The time has come for the Democrats to act, finally DHS expedites border wall replacement in Arizona, Texas MORE and House Freedom Caucus leaders Reps. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsOn The Money: House to vote on bipartisan retirement bill in May | Mexico now biggest US trading partner | Mulvaney defends record on cutting spending Mulvaney on government spending: 'At least I'm losing at the very highest levels' The Hill's Morning Report — Mueller aftermath: What will House Dems do now? MORE (R-N.C.) and Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanDems digging into Trump finances post-Mueller Overnight Health Care: DOJ charges doctors over illegal opioid prescriptions | Cummings accuses GOP of obstructing drug pricing probe | Sanders courts Republican voters with 'Medicare for All' | Dems probe funding of anti-abortion group Cummings accuses Oversight Republicans of obstructing drug price probe MORE (R-Ohio) over the weekend shows the divide within the party.

“I am amazed,” he said. “What a stinging rebuke of the House Republican leadership. The president is not negotiating with the leaders on this thing?”

Dent was referring to the fact that Jordan and Meadows had the president's ear on Saturday as opposed to outgoing House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanAppeals court rules House chaplain can reject secular prayers FEC filing: No individuals donated to indicted GOP rep this cycle The Hill's Morning Report - Waiting on Mueller: Answers come on Thursday MORE (R-Wis.).

Dent noted the several appropriations bills with bipartisan support would have averted the partial government shutdown that began on Saturday.

Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiPresenting the 2020 Democratic bracket Some Dem chairmen have changed tune on Trump impeachment On The Money: House to vote on bipartisan retirement bill in May | Mexico now biggest US trading partner | Mulvaney defends record on cutting spending MORE has no incentive to negotiate with Republicans between now and her swearing in day on Jan. 3 — her position only gets stronger and stronger,” he said. “So I don’t understand the point of this thing. It makes absolutely no sense.”

Democrats and Republicans are at odds over Trump's proposed border wall. Trump has said he would not sign legislation that does not include at least $5 billion for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border — a dollar amount that Democrats have rejected.