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Bipartisan stubborness leads to shutdown

by Lou Venditti - New Editor
Tue, Jan 30th 2018 08:40 pm

 

This past week, the United States federal government did the one thing every government should never do: operations came to a halt and the government shut down. There are fingers pointing blame around the circle. Democrats have been widely blamed for the shutdown, refusing to cooperate with the Republican controlled houses on budget legislation. However, some fingers point toward the Trump Administration for asking wild promises in regard to the budget. 

The Trump Administration wants to build the wall between the U.S. and Mexico. The fabled border wall is necessary, according to Trump in a tweet from January 18. Trump also said in the same tweet that if there is no funding for the wall, there is no deal.

The funding for the wall is an incredible non-issue that the Trump administration insists on making an issue. Trump truly believes that a wall would stop illegal immigration along one of the most deadly borders in the world. Never mind the desert, mountains and raging Rio Grande, the wall would be the truest challenge for anyone brave enough to make a journey to better their life. It’s a backward idea that’s going to cost billions of dollars, if passed. It’d be like taking a stack of cash and setting it on fire.

The deal the Democrats want to make is primarily funding DACA. The Democrats passed stop-gap legislation to push DACA to a further date, but they finally decided to dig their heels in and battle. DACA, which stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, protects nearly 700,000 undocumented children from deportation.

However, the Democrats also had another choice to make. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell essentially held  a gun to the head of Democrats, making them choose between funding for DACA or funding for CHIP, a Children’s Health Insurance Program funded through the federal government. McConnell ripped into Democrat leaders, saying that it’d be an “easy vote” for the Republicans to pass, rather than DACA. 

When it came down to the vote, House Speaker Paul Ryan called on the Senate Democrats who continued to hold out to cave in and vote for the funding bill, which would keep government agencies open through February 16. To add some icing on the cake, the Republicans added millions of dollars into CHIP’s funding. 

The Democrats took the deal and shoved it, digging in harder on protecting Dreamers. This caused the vote to fail, and thus, the government shut down. It started on January 20 at midnight, with thousands of federal employees being furloughed, according to politifact.com. The employees affected were primarily in the Education Department.

The shutdown was ended just days later when the House passed a stopgap measure to keep the government open through February 8. The bill, passed on January 22, also funded CHIP for the next six years, according to The New York Times.

The weekend of the shutdown may have been the best time for an Obama Administration throwback. Amidst the finger pointing across the party divide, with the Democrats labelling the shutdown as the “Trump shut down,” and Trump blaming Senator Chuck Schumer for the same thing, a tweet of Trump’s resurfaced.

“No one wants the government to shut down,” the tweet from 2013 reads. “But if Obamacare is fully integrated, then our country will eventually shut down anyway!”

It’s funny to replace Obamacare with the wall in his tweets. If the wall is fully integrated, our country will eventually shut down anyway. The wall is going to be a fighting point for the duration Trump is in office and trying to get a budget passed. The Democrats have a long road of fighting in front of them.

Thankfully, the shut down was short. It lasted a total of two days, and the furloughed employees returned work. And while fingers are being pointed at senators of both parties, the biggest takeaway is that the Democrats finally took a stand for something.