Democrats Just Admitted Their Goal is to Shutdown the Government


Republican Susan Collins, who serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee, says she's frustrated by Congress's continued use of short-term, stopgap funding measures, and its failure to pass a budget for the year by the October 1 deadline.

"We'll be fine", Representative Mike Simpson of Idaho, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, said.

The president also jabbed at Democrats in another tweet this morning over the stalled negotiations to reach a deal on spending limits for this fiscal year.

The hardening stance reflects the influence of an emboldened Democratic base clamoring for a showdown with a president many on the left view as racist and untrustworthy. House Speaker Paul Ryan accused Democrats who oppose the bill of wanting to shut down the government and deny funding for the military and children's health insurance.

Asked if there was going to be a shutdown, he said "it could happen, it's up to the Democrats". They can lose 23 votes, but any more than that and they would need Democratic support in order to get the bill over the finish line.

But the public view shifts if voters think the government is shuttering because of the immigration issue, particularly in five states that Trump won in 2018 by overwhelming margins and where Democratic senators face reelection in November: Indiana, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota and West Virginia.

But that's far from certain, and it's unclear if the bill fails in the Senate what the next step will be.

House lawmakers did so even after President Donald Trump issued a series of contradictory and monumentally uninformed tweets about the program that could have jeopardized passage of the bill.

"We barely know who to negotiate with", he said, complaining about Trump's tweets.

As he's done since taking office a year ago, Trump was dominating and confusing the jousting, at times to the detriment of his own party.

On Wednesday, ongoing talks over a deal showed no signs of progress.

"The president supports the continuing resolution introduced in the House", spokesperson Raj Shah said in a statement. The administration has given agents leeway to detain and try to deport a wide range of people in the country illegally, from criminals to otherwise law-abiding residents with jobs and US -citizen children.

In each case, the president, a Democrat, entered the budget showdown in a stronger position than the Republicans on Capitol Hill.

All of this centers around the fight over DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and how to successfully thread the needle on a political compromise.

Trump ended the DACA program, initiated by the Obama administration, in September, but gave Congress six months to provide a legislative fix.

But the program's objective - to protect unauthorized immigrants brought to the children from possible, albeit unlikely, deportation - was a good one. Five moderate Democrats voted for the bill, while 11 Republicans voted against it, majority conservative hardliners. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., and Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., are aligning with Democrats in complaining that the bill lacks a DACA fix.

Another Democrat, Henry Cuellar of Texas, said he is is a "no for now" but if his vote is needed to avert shutdown he will vote "yes". "This week is an opportunity for Congress to reject that racism". But the political fallout for Republicans was bad enough that, upon becoming Senate majority leader three years ago, Sen. "His biggest promise of the campaign trail was to crack down on illegal immigration and build a border wall". Besides CHIP, they also delayed some taxes from the Affordable Care Act - one on medical devices and another on high-cost, so-called "Cadillac" insurance plans, which they believe it would be tough for those Democrats in swing districts to vote against. Immigration advocates are confident popular opinion is on their side - people from heads of companies like Amazon, Apple and Starbucks to TV personality Kim Kardashian have urged a deal.

If these were the old days of newspapering, we'd love to shout: "Stop the Presses!" While the program technically doesn't expire until March 5, roughly 100 immigrants a day who didn't renew their enrollment in time are losing permission to work and protection from being deported.