Which party will shut down the government?

Jack DeVries, Copy Editor

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Editor’s Note: Jack DeVries is a junior at UNCW double majoring in operations management and marketing strategy. Jack also works as The Seahawk’s Copy Editor and is a frequent writer for the Political Perspectives column. All opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. All suggestions and inquiries may be sent via email to sld9240@uncw.edu. 

Update: The proposed continued resolution bill discussed in this article failed to pass the senate. “Senate Democrats blocked a spending bill on Friday night that would have prevented a government shutdown. The procedural motion to advance the bill needed 60 votes to pass”, reported the New York Times.

The total vote count was 50-49-1. Of the 99 senators present, 10 strayed from the party line. Republican senators Flake, Graham, Lee, McConnell and Paul voted no to the proposed resolution bill. Democrat senators Manchin, McCaskill, Heitkamp and Donelly voted yes. Arizona Senator John McCain is out of the senate while he deals with health complications.

Republicans attempted to push through yet another short-term spending bill. This continuing resolution bill or CR, somehow survived the House of Representatives. Supported by a majority of Republicans, the bill succeeded 230-197. The Senate vote, however, will prove much harder for both parties and it is guaranteed to get ugly.

“Senate Republicans leaders have convinced themselves Democrats will have to peel off to support the spending package the House would send over. Senate Democrats, for their part, are still keeping their cards close to their chest,” reported CNN.

Keeping the government open long-term or at all, swirls around the fate of two large programs: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

The DACA showdown has evolved into a game of chicken: Republicans against Democrats, neither side showing a willingness to budge. Democrats will receive criticism from progressive activists if they pass a DACA-less budget. Republicans will receive criticism from Trump’s base for any DACA amnesty. With mid-term elections around the corner, this is a fight on many fronts.

CHIP, liked by all, is interestingly enough tied into the CR bill. Passing this bill would extend CHIP for six years. Nobody wants to be the bad guy? Everybody wants to give kids health insurance, right?

Let’s be honest with ourselves, Republicans are holding CHIP hostage. If Republicans succeed, then great; but if they fail, midterm elections will be brutal.

In the middle of it all, President Trump broadcasted a bipartisan meeting on immigration last week. The meeting covered DACA, the wall and other immigration worries. In the meeting Trump was quick to show how agreeable he was, nodding at everything said. Unfortunately, the broadcast was nothing more than a photo-op.

If this CR bill fails, both parties will be able to claim: “Look we tried.”
Red-state Democrats and blue-state Republicans both want reelection while Trump wants his wall. Democrats want their voters and GOP donors want wage slaves. Holier-than-thou Jeff Flake wants a CNN contributor spot.

I digress, but the list goes on. At the end of the day, nobody wants to be responsible for a government shutdown.

Even though I love our grossly inflated and bureaucratically hampered government, I do think it is time Republicans and Democrats alike suffer shutdown consequences from their voters. Stop swirling the drain; it is time to dive in.

My question to Republicans: Why do you insist on being the bad guys? Instead, let Democrats take a turn. Let them shut down the government over 800,000 non-Americans.