“The federal government officially shut down at 12:01 am on Saturday as Republicans and Democrats remain in a standoff over a spending bill; President Donald Trump is attempting to place the blame on Democrats after lawmakers failed to get enough votes for a short-term bill to fund the government. In light of yesterday’s events, the president canceled a trip to his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, where he had intended to have a party in celebration of the one-year marker. This is the first time in history the government has truly shut down under one-party control.
In a series of tweets on Saturday morning, Trump said Democrats are more concerned with illegal immigrants than the military and border security, and that they could have easily reached a deal with Republicans but “decided to play shutdown politics instead.” Both parties, and the president, share blame for the shutdown.
At the center of the debate is an impasse over immigration — specifically, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which protects some 700,000 immigrants who arrived in the United States as children. Trump rescinded the program in September and called for Congress to come up with a legislative solution; when it did, in a bipartisan deal put together by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durbin (D-IL), Trump struck the bill down.
House Republicans on Thursday passed a bill to fund the government for four weeks and extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which provides health insurance for millions of children, for six years — after failing to reauthorize the program for four months post-expiry. But the bill failed in the Senate, where it needs 60 votes. Forty-five Senate Democrats and five Senate Republicans voted against it, the Democrats saying that the bill needs a DACA fix and the Republicans for varying reasons, including, for some, DACA.
Republicans have dug in to pit DACA recipients against CHIP, even though they could, presumably, pass a CHIP extension as a standalone bill. They say Democrats are overly focused on DACA and overlooking other pressing matters that will be affected by the shutdown.”
The President made the announcement shortly before and after it happened.
When it comes down to it Democrats voted against a bill that would extend CHIP for six more years. Something they blamed Republicans for not doing back in November when tax reform was being passed. Yet now CHIP does not seem to be that important to them. The millions upon millions upon millions of Americans on CHIP are clearly less important to Democrats than a couple hundred thousand DACA recipients. These politicians were elected to represent the American people. Plain and simple. They aren’t doing it.