Red State Democrat Flip Flops On Sanctuary Cities...Probably Because It's An Election Year

Posted: Feb 16, 2018 1:45 PM

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) is one of the most vulnerable senators in the 2018 cycle. And she seems to know it. Maybe she could have coasted and avoided rocky shoals, but the government shut down in January. The Democrats thought they could play their blame game and win it, pinning it on Republicans. But this wasn’t about the debt ceiling or Obamacare, it was about illegal aliens. And Democrats decided to put their interests over American citizens. There was no strategy. There was no message. Even CNN and MSNBC were calling out Democrats on television for their shoddy talking points, like this is the first time government has shutdown when one party controls the White House and Congress. That’s a lie; it happened under Carter. And for omitting the fact that you need 60 votes to do anything in the Senate. The GOP has 51 seats—a slim majority. Moreover, the GOP agreed to do something on DACA and fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program for six years (it’s now ten with the new budget agreement). In all, Democrats got what they wanted—and they still shut down the government. After a couple days, when the Democrats figured that the GOP wasn’t going to budge and polling looked like they could be blamed, they caved. 

Still, the night of the shutdown, five Democrats voted for the funding measure to keep the government opened that ultimately failed. All of them were red state Democrats, including McCaskill. Supporting this shutdown for illegal aliens is political kryptonite back home for these senators. You saw that with the recent votes on the failed immigration deal yesterday. All four DACA/immigration proposals were shot down, unable to clinch 60 votes. Guy has the details here, but these were the proposals sent to the floor:

(1)The bipartisan bill co-sponsored by Delaware Democrat Chris Coons and Arizona Republican John McCain, offered by Democrats.  This version of a DREAM Act pact is widely seen as a non-starter among most conservatives, as its border security elements areexceptionally weak.  The White House has called it totally unacceptable to the president.  

(2) A GOP-introduced itemsponsored byPennsylvania Republican Pat Toomey that would withhold additional federal funds from, and otherwise sanction, sanctuary cities.

(3)A bipartisan deal hammered out by a working group of 16 Senators (effectively eight Democrats and eight Republicans) that goes significantly further than Coons/McCain, but falls well short of Trump's stated preferences on a number of levels.

(4)The White House-backed Grassley bill, co-sponsored by a number of conservative members, that more or lessmirrors Trump's plan.  Both the president and McConnell have signaled their support for this plan, but it seems extremely unlikely that it will get to 60 votes.

For the one dealing with sanctuary cities, McCaskill voted for it. A bit odd given that she voted against cracking down on sanctuary cities in 2015 and 2016

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Derek Hunter

Via The Hill:

Senators voted 54-45 on the amendment from GOP Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) that would limit the flow of federal grants to the jurisdictions, commonly referred to as sanctuary cities.

Sixty votes were needed to overcome the procedural hurdle. 

Democratic Sens. Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.) and Debbie Stabenow (Mich.) — who are each up for reelection in states won by Trump — supported the measure.

Yeah, Claire has to show the people of Missouri she’s not really with the northeastern and coastal elites on this one. America Rising has a better nickname for her though: The Pretender.

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