Do they even care?
As Federal Shutdown Looms, GOP Leaders Waste the People’s Time
During the federal government shutdown of 2013, Denver Post cartoonist Joe Heller offered this look at a closed Mount Rushmore and its disgusted former presidents - Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln.
Do President Trump and House Republican leaders even care if the federal government shuts down later this month for lack of a 2018 spending agreement? Given their disturbing lack of urgency, the answer appears to be “No.”
Last fall, the president tweeted that a “good” shutdown might be necessary to fix the “mess” in Washington. And now, for its part, Congress has just a few days left to meet the January 19th deadline to either pass a final 2018 spending bill or kick the can down the road with a third straight Continuing Resolution to keep the government open while budget negotiations continue. This wasteful, inefficient path creates nothing but uncertainty for the public employees who work in government, and for everyone affected by government. You can’t run a successful business this way - let alone a successful country.
But instead of reconvening the House on schedule January 3rd to hammer out an agreement, Republican leaders kept Congress closed all last week, and wasted five precious days that should have been spent on the people’s business.
To be clear, President Trump, Speaker Ryan and their GOP leadership team run the government and set the House calendar. They know full well that the law required all 12 appropriations bills necessary to fund the government in 2018 be passed by September 30th of 2017.
The fact of the matter is – Republican leaders blew right by the deadline because they were too busy attempting to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (Obama Care) and take health care away from 36 million Americans. Failing on that score, they passed a $1.5 trillion tax giveaway to millionaires, billionaires and wealthy corporations – at the expense of the Middle Class.
Now, with no budget agreement in sight, and hundreds of thousands of public employees facing layoffs, Republican leaders have less than two weeks to pass a spending bill and keep the federal government open. Even with the majority of votes, it will be hard for Republicans to get this done without bipartisan Democratic support.
In that regard, they urgently need to reach across the aisle and work with us to restore the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), reform immigration, and fund human development and infrastructure programs to create more good paying jobs. The bottom line is – there’s still time for compromise and good will to win out over partisan politics. But as the old saying goes, “Time’s a wasting.”
We will keep you posted as events proceed. Meanwhile, I want to hear your thoughts. Feel free to contact any of our offices listed below or send me an email.
You can read the full letter HERE.