On shutdown, Democrats have a lot of explaining to do

When is a spending deal not a spending deal? When it's a DACA deal.It's pretty simple: funding bills should be...

Posted: Jan 22, 2018 12:18 PM
Updated: Jan 22, 2018 12:18 PM

When is a spending deal not a spending deal? When it's a DACA deal.

It's pretty simple: funding bills should be about appropriations, not immigration. Unfortunately, Democrats let politics take priority over policy, thus paralyzing any compromise, ultimately shutting down the government.

It's irrelevant whether you call it a #SchumerShutdown, #ShitholeShowdown, or #SwampShutown. Washington will point fingers and look to place blame, while the American people will suffer.

Democrats were so hell-bent on settling the fate of unlawful immigrants that they were willing to punish lawful residents who serve in our military, rely on children's health insurance and rely on valuable government services.

President Trump blames Democrats, tweeting that they "are holding our Military hostage over their desire to have unchecked illegal immigration."

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said, "this is the behavior of obstructionist losers, not legislators."

Chuck Schumer blames the GOP generally and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell specifically, saying the Democrats are happy to compromise, but "we will not be bullied."

The reality is that Democrats chose protections for recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients over funding the government. They will have to explain that to the American people.

The fact is that, while there is tremendous support for protecting Dreamers, 56% of Americans, according to a recent CNN poll, said approving a budget to avoid a shutdown was more important than continuing DACA. Thirty-four percent thought renewing DACA was more important than preventing a shutdown.

President Trump has been clear on his goal for dealing with immigration. Along with a DACA fix, he wants increased security at the border, an end to chain migration, and an end to the visa lottery program.

With that in mind, Congress should have addressed first things first: fund the government now and address DACA by its March deadline. It's shameful that our military and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) will suffer due to the reality show known as Congress.

CHIP serves about nine million children whose parents have incomes too high to qualify for Medicaid but cannot afford other insurance. The program receives about 90% of its funding from the federal government.

People across the heartland tell me they feel Democrats regard illegal immigrants more highly than farmers, the military and teachers. They also see the disconnect with both sides of the aisle in Washington widening.

The Continuing Resolution would have reauthorized the CHIP program for six more years.

As for the military, active-duty troops will not get paid during a shutdown. And several long-term projects will see their funding frozen.

At an event I attended this week at the White House, Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson emphasized the need for protecting military funding. Secretary Wilson stressed that low levels of military readiness "don't impact how many members of our military will go, but how many will come back."

That's a chilling fact to consider amid the political brinkmanship in Washington.

As far as the political fallout, a handful of Democratic Senators who serve in red states seemingly realized the impact of this vote on their own midterm election prospects. Senators Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Claire McCaskill of Missouri voted with Republicans in favor of the continuing resolution.

They understand that Independents -- voters whom they will need in November -- agree with Republicans on the issues facing Congress in the shutdown debate.

Senator John McCain tweeted it best, saying this "is a direct result of the breakdown of cooperation in Congress."

The technical term for the shutdown is "lapse in funding," when in reality it's a "lapse in judgment" in Congress. No matter who gets the blame, the American people deserve better than this.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 451227

Reported Deaths: 33090
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Queens718187245
Kings673917319
Bronx526664942
Nassau463252201
Suffolk461762011
Westchester378661454
New York331463173
Richmond157861085
Rockland14891675
Orange11835498
Erie11082689
Monroe5925289
Dutchess5084153
Onondaga4253205
Albany3037134
Oneida2378123
Ulster224495
Niagara1733101
Putnam158363
Sullivan157348
Broome147669
Schenectady138348
Saratoga100617
Rensselaer90142
Columbia58237
Chautauqua5479
Madison48917
Ontario46535
Oswego4643
Tompkins3990
Warren36333
Steuben36042
Chemung3493
Fulton33224
Otsego3325
Orleans32554
Herkimer32210
Greene32118
St. Lawrence3194
Genesee3175
Wayne3115
Washington28814
Cattaraugus2556
Chenango2487
Montgomery2294
Tioga22525
Cayuga2022
Livingston2028
Jefferson1640
Cortland1620
Essex1610
Clinton1555
Wyoming1325
Delaware1314
Seneca1053
Allegany991
Schoharie830
Franklin650
Yates627
Lewis500
Schuyler390
Hamilton150
Unassigned016
Utica
Clear
49° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 49°
Oneonta
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 46°
Herkimer
Clear
49° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 49°
Thendara
Clear
49° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 49°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Click here to learn more about A Healthier Mohawk Valley
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve
WKTV Golf Card - Under 150 left