GOP senator reportedly slams McConnell over shutdown: ‘This is your fault’

Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonWhistleblower retaliation: Stop confusing unlawful attacks with politics Congress looks to strengthen hand in State Department following impeachment Senate braces for fight over impeachment whistleblower testimony MORE (R-Wis.) tore into Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Sanders's momentum puts Democrats on edge House Freedom Caucus chairman endorses Collins's Georgia Senate bid This week: House to vote on legislation to make lynching a federal hate crime MORE (R-Ky.) on Thursday, saying the record-long government shutdown was McConnell’s “fault,” according to The Washington Post.

Frustrated Republican senators lashed out at each other and Vice President Pence on Thursday during a private GOP lunch.

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“This is your fault,” Johnson told the Republican leader, according to the Post.

“Are you suggesting I’m enjoying this?” McConnell reportedly fired back.

Johnson’s spokesperson, Ben Voelkel, confirmed the confrontation to the Post.

Voelkel said Johnson was expressing his frustration with the two opposing bills to reopen the government that both failed in the upper chamber shortly after the encounter. 

McConnell aides declined to comment on the luncheon to the newspaper.

The Thursday votes in the Senate were the first since the shutdown began on Dec. 22.

McConnell has blocked all previous measures to reopen the government amid the longest shutdown in U.S. history, previously citing the need for President TrumpDonald John TrumpAdvisor: Sanders could beat Trump in Texas Bloomberg rips Sanders over Castro comments What coronavirus teaches us for preventing the next big bio threat MORE’s approval.

Trump has demanded $5.7 billion in funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

McConnell made a stunning admission during the Senate luncheon, telling Pence that closing the government to secure Trump’s long-desired border wall was not a smart move.

“McConnell talked about how we need to bring this process to a close; we should never have had a shutdown; they don’t work; I’ve said this numerous times; I don’t know how many times I’ve told you there’s no education in the second kick of a mule,” a GOP source familiar with the meeting told The Hill.

Sen. John CornynJohn CornynOcasio-Cortez announces slate of all-female congressional endorsements Trump Medicaid proposal sparks bipartisan warnings Senate braces for fight over impeachment whistleblower testimony MORE (R-Texas) told reporters after the Senate votes that Pence got an “earful” from senators.

“We’re all hearing from our constituents who are working for no pay,” Cornyn said. “And there’s a parade of horribles of how people who are having to cope with not getting paid, and it’s not good.”

“There was a lot of frustration expressed about the situation we find ourselves in,” he added.