Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has plans for a highly risky and somewhat bizarre strategy to blame Democrats, especially those up for re-election this fall, if the U.S. government is shut down tomorrow.
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Republicans are attempting to hold funding for CHIP, a children’s healthcare program, hostage in order to force the Democrats to fund the government.
Although Republicans control the House, Senate, and White House, if the House fails to pass the one-month budget resolution, McConnell thinks he can pound Democrats for voting against children’s health care just because the legislation does not also extend the DACA “Dreamers” program.
It will require 60 votes to pass the short-term budget extension.
This is the first time in recent memory that a government shutdown has been possible when one party — one party — has controlled the White House, House, & Senate. The Republicans own that. #DoYourJob
— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) January 18, 2018
If the fate of the bill falls on the Senate, the devious and dastardly McConnell plans to keep the lawmakers in session all weekend and require them to vote again and again against the bill and its money for children’s health care.
“This is an irresponsible position to take,” McConnell writes in a memo to Republican Senators obtained by Politico, “as everything from pay for our military to processing social security checks will be affected. I hope not a single Republican is inclined to join them.”
Unfortunately for McConnell, four Republicans – Mike Lee (R-UT), Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Rounds (R-SD) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have already said they will vote against the bill to fund the government for one more month.
With at least *FOUR* Republican Senators opposing the GOP funding bill, how will McConnell spin that Democrats are to blame? https://t.co/UblirdZ4Tt
— Topher Spiro (@TopherSpiro) January 18, 2018
Graham said he will vote no because the continuing resolution (or CR, as it is called) does not include a renewal for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, fixes to immigration policy and money to “rebuild” the military that he says is “in great decline,” according to CNN.
“Only in Washington when the Republicans control the House of Representatives, the United States Senate and the White House would they seek to blame Democrats,” says Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.). “You should be concerned less about the politics and more about getting the job done.”
Senate Democrats have a plan to put the blame for any shutdown on Trump and the Republicans that will include an aggressive media and advertising campaign.
“Senate Republicans have a herculean task ahead of them to blame anyone but the president for this shutdown,” Matt House, a spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York.
“The American people will know exactly where to place the blame,” continues House, “for this first-ever shutdown under total Republican control in Washington.”
What it comes down to is that Trump and the Republicans are balking at including an extension of DACA as part of the president’s ugly anti-immigration strategy. When Trump had a chance to approve a compromise that might have led to passage – with DACA included -he instead made his now famous remarks about not wanting immigration from “shit hole” countries – which he now denies.
Never forget that Trump refused to sign the bi-partisan bill to prevent a government shutdown while both he & the GOP focused on their #FakeNewsAwards instead of keeping our government running.
— William LeGate (@williamlegate) January 18, 2018
A government shutdown is so devastating to so many people and so harmful to the nation and the economy that past history shows it is an issue voters remember and take to heart.
The president and majority party that oversees a shutdown inevitably take the blame so McConnell and even Trump can try to blame everyone else, but this is their problem, their mess and they will pay a price for their intransigence.
Trump lying about the impact is not going to help the Republicans.
Fact check: President Trump tweeted that a government shutdown would be "devastating" to the military, but they're largely exempt. https://t.co/YObk1p8WCt
— NBC News (@NBCNews) January 18, 2018