On February 8, government shutdown theater comes back into town. Will there be another shutdown? In January, the Democrats decided to shut it down for three-days for illegal aliens. The end result was the Democrats lost. They got nothing. They got a spending bill in which they had no objections to; it funded Children’s Health Insurance Program for six years. The exception was it was a week shorter concerning funding. Hence, why the news media and observers were wondering what was the point of this shutdown. Democrats thought they could blame the GOP, but you can’t spin facts. The facts are the GOP always agreed on doing something with the Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals program, which shields immigrants who entered the U.S. as children from deportation. It’s a constitutionally shaky executive order, with legitimate separation of powers concerns, which is why the Trump White House decided on a gradual wind down last September. It had a six-month enforcement delay to give Congress time to legally fix this program. March is the deadline. The GOP again agreed to fix DACA. They were going to fund CHIP. FISA, though a touchy subject, is probably going to get renewed. So, where’s the problem?
The Democrats went into this shutdown mess without a message or strategy. That was evident when CNN and MSNBC skewered their talking points for everyone to see. Yes, the GOP controls Congress, but you need 60 votes to do anything in the Senate; Republicans hold a slim 51-seat majority there. And this isn’t the first time that one party who controls the Congress and the White House shut down the government; it happened under Carter.
With agreements on what Democrats wanted, everyone could easily see this shutdown was their fault and for illegal aliens, which is kryptonite to red state Democrats. Hence, why they broke ranks to vote for the initial spending package that failed to secure the 60 votes.
When they figured that the GOP wouldn’t budge and the polling showed they could be blamed, they ran for the exits. Is two times the charm? Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said it’s not going to happen at the GOP’s annual retreat at White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia (via The Hill):
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Thursday predicted that Democrats won’t risk another government shutdown after they folded two weeks ago on their demands to add immigration legislation to a stopgap spending bill.
“I don’t think we’ll see a threat [of a] government shutdown again over this subject. One of my favorite old Kentucky country sayings is 'there’s no education in the second kick of a mule,' and so I think there will be a new level of seriousness here trying to resolve these issues,” McConnell told reporters at a Republican retreat at The Greenbrier resort.
He said the threat of a government shutdown to gain leverage in immigration talks “has clearly been eliminated.”
Senate Democrats said much the same after a three-day government shutdown last month.
Well, we’ll find out where the battle lines are next week. Regardless, even if no DACA deal is hashed out by then, the Senate will immediate make this a priority item, so this issue will be resolved. The Trump administration has doled out a very lofty deal in which it would give 1.8 million illegal aliens a pathway to citizenship, one million more than the original DACA pool of 800,000. The Democrats have so far balked at this generous offer because maybe, just maybe, they don’t want one. After their opposition to the tax bill has blown up in their faces, they need something to get the base animated, as a great many Americans begin to see more money in their paychecks. Contrary to what the liberal media says—I know par for the course—it’s the Left who has all to gain by gambling with these peoples’ lives.