Celebrities are taking action over the partial government shutdown, with Jon Bon Jovi providing free food for federal workers and Lady Gaga calling out the President.
Bon Jovi’s New Jersey restaurant JBJ Soul Kitchen announced on Facebook on Saturday that it would provide free meals to workers hit by the shutdown.
KISS last week said the band’s Rock and Brews restaurants, located at airports across the United States, will provide a free meal a day to Transport Security Administration workers during the shutdown.
“I think it’s up to all of us always to make sure we do everything possible to take care of the people who take care of us,” said band member Paul Stanley. “Who’s the government? The government is of the people, by the people and for the people so who are you hurting? You’re hurting the people and that’s not acceptable. So once again, it’s up to us to step up.”
Lady Gaga broke off mid-song in Las Vegas to demand “that the f***ing President of the United States could please put our government back in business”.
The Star is Born actress added: “There are people who live pay cheque to pay cheque and need their money.”
She also took aim at vice president Mike Pence over his wife working at a school that bans LGBTQ people.
“OK, I’m sorry, I got upset for a second there,” she concluded, as she returned to singing her hit song Million Reasons.
Rapper Cardi B posted an expletive-filled video to Instagram last week attacking Donald Trump over the shutdown, now on day 32. She noted that Barack Obama also shut down the government, but for healthcare.
“This s*** is really f***ing serious, bro, this s*** is crazy,” she said. “Our country is in a hellhole right now, all for a f***ing wall.
“Bitch I’m scared. This is crazy.”
The video has had more than 16 million views.
Snoop Dogg also shared an Instagram video in which he said: “All you people that work for the federal government that not getting paid right now, ain’t no f***ing way in the world you can vote for Donald Trump when he comes back up again.”
Captain America star Chris Evans tweeted that he had donated to celebrity chef Jose Andres’ drive to serve free hot meals every day to federal workers in a cafe set up on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC.
Barbra Streisand has regularly tweeted about the shutdown, sharing an apt Martin Luther King Jr quote on the US public holiday in the activist’s honour on Monday: “For here on either side of the wall are God’s children and no man-made barrier can obliterate that fact.”
John Legend, Alyssa Milano, Cher, Mark Hamill and Bette Midler are among the other stars who have tweeted their disgust at the shutdown.
The Senate is this week set to vote on Mr Trump’s proposal to extend protections for 700,000 undocumented young immigrants in return for $US5.7 billion for his border wall.
The funding package is not expected to pass, with Democrats vehemently opposed to funding a wall on the US-Mexico border and only willing to agree $US1.3 billion for security, including fencing and surveillance.
Republicans hold a 53-47 majority in the chamber but need seven Democrats to reach the 60-vote threshold for bills to advance.
It means the government will remain at an impasse, with nine government departments and several agencies still unfunded and 800,000 federal employees on unpaid leave or working without pay.
They are on track to miss a second pay cheque on Friday, the end of the fifth week of shutdown.
Workers are struggling to afford their bills and mortgages, with some facing homelessness as housing subsidies dry up. Services including food and drug inspections, airport security checks and support for farmers and manufacturers are on hold, bringing America close to a standstill.
The President retweeted former Pussycat Doll Kaya Jones, who called on other celebrities who voted for the President to come forward. “Let’s show the world how many Americans stand with him,” she said.
He said Democrats were playing “political games” and repeated his claims that the wall is a solution to drugs and crime — although the Drug Enforcement Administration says only a small percentage of drugs comes into the country between ports of entry.
“Without a Wall our Country can never have Border or National Security,” Mr Trump tweeted. “With a powerful Wall or Steel Barrier, Crime Rates (and Drugs) will go substantially down all over the U.S.”