Dems embark on Caribbean junket in chartered jet, party with ‘Hamilton’ cast, amid gvmt shutdown

With Speaker Nancy Pelosi boldly pulling off a Hawaii vacation during the partial government shutdown with little media fanfare, 30 Democratic members of Congress surely gave little thought to taking part in a winter retreat in Puerto Rico.

The lawmakers, their families and lobbyists traveled to the Caribbean island over the weekend to attend the Congressional Hispanic Caucus BOLD PAC gathering in San Juan, according to Fox News. This coming amid a shutdown that has no end in sight and the party embracing federal employees not receiving paychecks to gain a PR edge over President Donald Trump, who is determined to shore up border security.

The agenda included a special performance of the hit Broadway show “Hamilton,” not that the Democrats didn’t tack on a working element to give the appearance of official business, with a planned meeting with Puerto Rican officials to discuss Hurricane Maria cleanup efforts.

Not that there wasn’t time for a little fun in the sun — the gathering took place at a seaside resort where rooms run around $429 a night, Fox News reported.

While it’s not clear who the 30 Democrats attending are, the guest list appears to be a tightly guarded secret, Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., was spotted on the beach talking with a bikini babe.

The photo brings to mind the media reaction when former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was caught on a state beach while it was closed to the public during a state budget standoff in 2017 that resulted in a government shutdown.

…with the reaction to the Democratic senator paling in comparison.

But don’t worry, the Democrats are “closely monitoring” events and will brush off the sand and rush back to Washington if needed.

“As our Bold PAC members make their way to Puerto Rico for this important weekend — the largest contingency of House Democrats to visit Puerto Rico where they’ll be hearing from Commonwealth and local elected officials about the ongoing recovery efforts — we will be closely monitoring the situation in Washington,” Bold PAC Chair Rep. Tony Cardenas said in a statement, according to Fox News. “If there is any progress by Senate Republicans or the White House to reopen the federal government, then we will act accordingly.”

Conservative actor James Woods was quick to note that Sen. Menendez, fresh off the Justice Department dropping bribery and corruption charges against him, was just having a “conference” — wink, wink — on the beach with a “colleague.”

Here’s a sampling of other reactions from Twitter:

Tom Tillison


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