Sunday, January 21, 2018

Schumer Shutdown: The State Of Play

After a continuing resolution to keep the government open was passed in December of 2017, Democrats signaled they would not support future spending bills, even clean ones, until the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) were addressed. FISA is a done deal. CHIP was funded for six years with the House spending bill that passed on January 18th and DACA permits won’t expire until March 5th
President Trump issued a six-month enforcement delay on DACA when he decided to wind down the program gradually last September, citing the Obama-era program as constitutionally questionable. The delay was meant for Congress to get the DACA legislation right. 
The mantra from the Left when the government shutdown became effective was Republicans control the White House, the House and the Senate.  The Senate make-up is comprised of 51 Republicans, 47 Democrats and 2 Independents who caucus with the Democrats.  The Democrats do not control the Senate, but they can obstruct any and all bills due to the 60-vote threshold required to pass legislation.  Majority Leader McConnell asked to take up the Continuing Resolution that would have prevented the shutdown, but Sen. Schumer objected.
During the 2013 debt ceiling negotiations, Sen. Schumer noted tying immigration to budgetary matters was an exercise in chaos. “You know, we could do the same thing on immigration. We believe strongly in immigration reform. We could say, ‘We’re shutting down the government, we’re not gonna raise the debt ceiling, until you pass immigration reform.’ It would be governmental chaos.”
As Congressional leaders and White House officials ran around Capitol Hill like chickens with their heads cut off during a rare Saturday session, Chuck Schumer spoke with a poster strategically placed in the background as he spoke from the floor.  The poster read:  Trump Shutdown.
Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL) spoke from the well of the House with a poster behind him as well which had a photo of Schumer and his 2013 quote:  “A government shutdown is the politics of idiocy, of confrontation, of paralysis.”  This rankled the Democrats who objected to the poster’s presence on the floor.  There was a vote and The Great Poster War of 2018 was settled allowing Byrne to continue his speech.
On Saturday evening, McConnell said he would force another vote on a short-term funding bill at 1 a.m. Monday, unless there's an agreement before then. That will ramp up the pressure on both sides to come up with a deal over the next 24 hours.
Meanwhile, the Twitterverse rightly mocked the Schumer Shutdown.  The graphic above uses an image from the 2009 film The Road.  Within the graphic I took a tweet from Jonah Goldberg I found most amusing.  His tweet was a perfect smackdown of a tweet from CNN’s Jim Acosta lamenting a “completely empty” snack machine in the White House.

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