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Tipsheet

Looming Government Shutdown Solely Democrats' Fault, According to 2018 Pelosi

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Democrats in Congress led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (NY) are hurtling toward a pile of deadlines before which they need to come up with passable budget, debt ceiling, and infrastructure bills — and it's not going well.

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Republicans in Congress, content to watch their colleagues across the aisle scramble, are refusing to help Democrats lift the debt ceiling. Republicans reason that, if Democrats want to push through trillions of dollars in spending contained within the woke infrastructure bill and budget reconciliation package, those same Democrats should shoulder the responsibility for raising the debt ceiling.

Pelosi is predictably not pleased that Republicans are forcing her party to own the gargantuan tax, spending, and debt-incurring plans. "The former president [Trump] was famous for not paying his bills, and they want to do that again," Pelosi said attempting to pin blame for a looming government shutdown on GOP opposition to her plan that would pass a continuing resolution to fund the government while also raising the debt ceiling.

What Pelosi either doesn't remember, or more likely doesn't care about, is that she was very clear about who owns a shutdown and who's to blame when Congress' lawmaking wheels grind to a halt at times one political party controls the White House and Congress.

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Back in January 2018, Pelosi tweeted about "the first time in recent memory that a government shutdown has been possible when one party — one party — has controlled the White House, House, & Senate," when President Donald Trump, Speaker Paul Ryan (WI), and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) were in office. "The Republicans own that" she concluded, adding "#DoYourJob."

Now that the shoe's on the other foot, Pelosi's statement would mean that because "one party" — her own — controls the White House, House, and Senate, it is Democrats who "own that" if the federal government shuts down.

Less than a month later in February 2018, Pelosi again attacked Republican leadership in Congress saying "the reason Congress is facing another stop-gap spending bill" — similar to her and Schumer's plan to put forward a stop-gap measure to keep the government afloat until the end of the year — is "because of" House and Senate Republican "incompetence."

Again, by Pelosi's logic, the 11th-hour mess Congress finds itself in is the fault of House and Senate Democrats' incompetence. 

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"They must stop governing from manufactured crisis to crisis, & work with Dems to pass the many urgent priorities of the American people," Pelosi added. 

Sounds like advice Pelosi and Schumer would be wise to heed if they want to make any progress toward delivering even a morsel of President Biden's legislative agenda. 

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