A Federal Government Shutdown! WHY?
A Federal Government Shutdown - WHY?
The Federal Government was shut down by Congress' inability to pass a budget bill to fund the government beginning at midnight Friday Jan 20, 2018. The Parties are generally pointing fingers of blame at each other. This, however, is a Democratic website.
The overall issues are the chaotic Trump White House and the Republican Party's inability to govern. The White House in the person of Donald Trump changes policy positions very frequently. Even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he doesn't know what legislation to put forward because he doesn't know what the president will support. That, however, is not a good excuse.
The Republicans stymie and blackmail and delay at every turn to the extent that in recent days they have put bills together behind locked doors in exclusion of any Democrats.
The trigger issue to the Shutdown is DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) or the Dream Act that President Obama created to prevent the arbitrary deportation of some 800,000 "Ilegal" child immigrants in this country that were brought here by their parents at a young age [LINK to DACA details]. These children in all cases have known no other country and culture than the United States and it is clearly their home. Multitudes of them are well-schooled and employed and contributing to the US society like any citizen.
The Republican Congress would not finalize a way to manage citizenship for these deserving people, so President Obama created a deferred action policy to protect them from deportation away from their lives. That was in June of 2012. Congress was supposed to fairly consider paths to citizenship for these people, but has failed to act.
In September of 2017, Trump repealed DACA with a 6 months stay of deportation to give Congress time to act. By January 2018 no progress had been made. Deportation could begin March 2018. Trump said if the upcoming budget vote contained money for his ridiculous border Wall then he would see to sustaining DACA. Then he took that back.
The Democrats have insisted that the budget vote contain provisions for DACA. The Republicans have steadfastly refused to do so. The vote for the budget on Friday January 19, 2018 required 60 Senate ayes. Only 50 could be mustered, so it failed to pass.
That provided no funding to keep the government running and started a shutdown at 12 midnight Friday. Essential services will largely continue. The hundreds of thousands of government workers, however, will be furloughed if the shutdown continues into Monday and beyond.
Congressional members of both parties are meeting on Saturday to try and find a way to agree and pass a funding bill over the weekend.
Democrats did not cave in on this issue. It is expected that there is enough anti-Trump and anti-Republican feelings to affect the Red party more that the Blue party over this shutdown event in the upcoming 2018 Congressional elections.
Mitch McConnell's DACA Commitment
Here's what Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said on the Senate floor Monday morning, shortly before Senate Democrats met and decided to support a measure reopening the government.
“All of us want to make life better for the American people. Bearing this in mind, I hope and intend that we can reach bipartisan solutions on issues such as military spending, immigration and border security, and disaster relief before this February 8th deadline. But yesterday evening, I restated my position that these negotiations can’t last forever.
“Should these issues not be resolved by the time the funding bill before us expires on February 8th, so long as the government remains open it so long as it remains open it would be my intention to take up legislation here in the Senate that would address DACA, border security, and related issues as well as disaster relief, defense funding, health care, and other important matters.
“Let me be clear, this immigration debate will have a level playing field at the outset, and an amendment process that is fair to all sides. And it would be my strong preference for the Senate to consider a proposal that can be signed into law. A bipartisan, bicameral group is already negotiating, and I look forward to the completion of its work."
I hope and intend that we can reach bipartisan solutions on issues such as military spending, immigration and border security, and disaster relief before this February 8th deadline.