Government Shutdown: Who Would Be to Blame?

Elias Hubbard
January 18, 2018

With a potential US government shutdown looming, Republican and Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday drew sharp battle lines on partisan priorities from immigration to defense spending that could scuttle an extension of federal funding.

"In our minds, the only question is the size of the deal - we had initially ball-parked a $300 billion deal over two years, though ~$200 billion over two years (equal amounts to defense and non-defense) now seems more likely", said Chris Kreuger, a policy strategist at Cowen Washington Research Group.

Those talks have been led by the second-ranking Republicans and Democrats in the House and the Senate. Without a unified Republican conference heading into that vote, leaders would be forced to give concessions to Democrats in order to get their support and avoid any shutdown. However, Republicans hope that by including a two-year delay on implementation of unpopular taxes on medical devices and high-end employer-subsidized health care plans and a six-year reauthorization of the children's health program, or CHIP, they can get enough Democrats to come on board.

The AP reports: "Republicans have enough votes to push a measure through the House if they stay largely united".

"It's like we're on a bridge that ends in the middle", Cossyleon said.

Strangely, the Times reports that Republicans consider this as the best of bad options, citing Rep. Mark Sanford of SC. And we cannot keep kicking this issue down the can. "Senator Stabenow, stand up and fight for immigrants".

A bipartisan group of senators said last week they had an immigration deal to protect the hundreds of thousands of young immigrants brought to the states as children, but President Donald Trump rejected it. That group had been granted temporary status allowing them to remain in the US without fear of deportation, and to work or attend college or graduate school, under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program created by the Obama administration. If last year's stopgap is any indicator, there may be as many as 16 Democrats who will end up caving and voting in support of a spending bill.

Appearing on "The Laura Ingraham Show", Paul noted Democrats control neither the White House nor either house of Congress. "Yeah, I think we should pay attention to it".

"I'm looking for something that President Trump supports and he has not yet indicated what measure he is willing to sign", McConnell said.

Should federal agencies close their doors, both parties would be gambling that the public would blame the other side. Republicans held the majority in the House, but Democratic President Barack Obama sat in the White House. "I can tell you I've been negotiating and working with the Democrats on immigration for 17 years and on this issue, on DACA or on the DREAM Act for a number of years, and the Democrats are negotiating in good faith". They would need 218 votes, which the 246-seat caucus ostensibly has.

That puts the onus on House leaders, who have to find a way to convince both defense hawks and fiscal conservatives to go along with a short-term spending deal one more time. Conservatives were also threatening to balk. He said initial indications were that "spending limits are so high that any Republican should blush".

The House votes Thursday on the short-term spending bill. Angus King, an independent from Maine. Seven of those Democrats face re-election in November in Trump-won states, while others - like Virginia Democratic Sens.

"It's a political bombshell for Democrats because we have such momentum with Latino voters that we've seen in the off-cycle... we want to capitalize on that for 2018", said Chuck Rocha, a Democratic strategist who specializes in the Latino vote, said of the dilemma confronting Democrats. When asked who they would blame if the government shut down, 31 percent said congressional Republicans, 29 percent said congressional Democrats, and 18 percent said Trump.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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