Hard Truth About Who’s REALLY Causing a Government ShutdownBy Calvin Freiburger
So here we are, on the verge of yet another government shutdown. Naturally, the air waves and social media feeds are full of finger-pointing as to who’s to blame.
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The Democrats and their foot soldiers in the press are pushing hard the narrative that Republicans will be responsible, with their case resting on the superficially-sensible observation that Republicans control both the Congress responsible for passing a government funding resolution and the presidency responsible for signing it. However, that ignores the simple fact that under current Senate rules, 60 votes are required to approve most ordinary legislation, rather than a simple majority — and the Democrats under Chuck Schumer refuse to vote for anything that doesn’t shoehorn in their demands on illegal immigration.
At Hot Air, Allahpundit lays out in detail exactly why who’s been willing to negotiate to keep the government open, and who’s been the real obstructionists:
First offer from Republicans: Let’s fund the government and pass a DREAM amnesty, as both sides want to do, and in return you give us some concessions on chain migration and the wall. Republicans have no choice but to use DREAM as leverage for those concessions despite their support for the policy because Democrats are incredibly reluctant to tighten admission policies under the best of circumstances. So how about a little something in return for DREAM, in the name of compromise? Nope, says Schumer. Won’t do it. We’ll give you a few billion in mad money for border improvements but we’re not doing anything that might move the U.S. towards skills-based criteria for immigrants and away from “bring the whole family!” policies.
Second offer from Republicans: Okay, since we’re stuck on a DREAM deal, let’s table the whole immigration issue for now and instead agree to fund the government and extend CHIP long-term, as both sides want to do. We’ll come back to DREAM afterwards when we’re not facing a hard deadline. Nope, says Schumer. Won’t do it. The amnesty fanatics in my base refuse to let us sign on to any funding deal that doesn’t include DREAM. Even though not only is DACA still in effect, the feds are letting enrollees renew their enrollments.
Third offer from Republicans: Okay, since Democrats are hung up on amnesty and worried about voting for a bill that doesn’t include it, let’s temporarily change the rules so that they don’t have to vote for the bill at all. Last night McConnell asked for unanimous consent from the Senate to let Republicans pass a funding bill with 50 votes instead of the 60 that the filibuster requires. It’s not at all certain that he has even 50 votes right now, but he was willing to take full responsibility for the bill’s passage via his caucus alone. If he found the votes he needed, the government would stay open without any Democratic assent to the DREAM-less bill. Nope, said Schumer. Won’t do it. He objected to the motion for unanimous consent. McConnell still needs 60, all but ensuring a shutdown.
So make no mistake: Democrats want to shut down the federal government because they are willing to fight to the bitter end for their interest groups, because they’re gambling that voters will see a shutdown as scarier than it really is, and because they’re gambling that Republicans will take the lion’s share of the blame (which might be a bad bet).
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All that being said, there is one other share of the blame that nobody seems to be focusing on: the Democrats only have the power to force a shutdown because of the Senate’s insane filibuster rules that Mitch McConnell and other Senate Republicans refuse to even consider touching, never mind the fact that they’ve already been responsible for the GOP’s humiliating failure to repeal Obamacare, and they mean that the Senate won’t even attempt to deliver results on issues like abortion or gun rights.
And yet, cruising through the commentariat, most of our side is focusing entirely on what frauds Schumer and the Dems are. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for nailing liberal liars to the wall. But if it’s not paired with frank discussions about the solutions to this mess we have right at our fingers — and why we aren’t using them — then it’s just partisan whining. And the swamp will continue to churn.
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