Steve's Blog

Will Democrats Shut Down the Government this Friday?

Well, if the government does shut down Friday, I can almost guarantee you that Democrats, and their friends in the mainstream press, will blame it on Republicans. The truth, however, will be that it was the Democrats’ fault.

Here’s why. At midnight Friday, the latest government funding extension runs out. Although there are many things funded in the spending package – defense, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and disaster relief for example, Democrats have decided that unless they get their way on DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), they’ll let the government shut down.

How can they do this – aren’t they in the minority? Yes, Republicans control the House. Republicans control the Senate. And a Republican is in the White House. How can the Democrats stop anything?

Well, it’s all about the Senate rules. Even if all 51 Republican Senators vote to pass a bill, that won’t be enough, because 60 out of the 100 Senators are required to end debate on a matter, and bring it up for a vote. So 9 Democrat Senators must vote with Republicans (assuming you have all 51 Republicans) to pass anything. And Democrats are acting like they won’t provide those votes unless they get everything they want on DACA – basically that all those brought here illegally get to stay.

Republicans, at least many of us, are willing to negotiate on that, but any deal must include additional border security measures, such as funding for “the wall”, and action on so-called chain migration. This ought to be something that reasonable minds could come to a conclusion on, but Democrats apparently think that now’s the time for political gain. They seem to think that they’ll benefit politically if the government shuts down, so why negotiate in good faith? If Republicans are likely to get blamed for a shutdown, why give in on anything? Just let the government shut down. (Now in full disclosure, not all the government shuts down, in fact, not even most of it. Only non-essential government personnel will be told not to come to work.)

One reason Democrats may believe they’re in a particularly strong position, is because of the controversy surrounding the remarks allegedly made by President Trump the other day relative to immigration. Although the United States, as a sovereign nation, has every right to determine who comes to this country, there’s no excuse for denigrating other nations with coarse language, whether the actual term used was “s… hole or s… house countries” (a distinction without a difference as far as I’m concerned.) Such stupid comments are unbecoming of a president, and distract from a positive agenda aimed at improving the economy and the quality of life for the American people.

Having served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee for over 20 years now, it’s my belief that it is in our nation’s best interest to foster good relations with our neighbors across the globe. Anything that detracts from that effort, whether words or actions, should be avoided. Now let’s move on.

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