Jimmy Kimmel spars with Ryan aide: 'Using kids' lives' as bargaining chips is 'disgusting'

Late night host Jimmy Kimmel slammed a top aide for Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanPaul Ryan calls for Trump to accept results: 'The election is over' Bottom line Democratic anger rises over Trump obstacles to Biden transition MORE (R-Wis.) on Wednesday for the Republican effort to tie funding for a children's health program to a government funding bill, saying "using kids' lives as bargaining chips is disgusting." 

Kimmel, who was a vocal critic of the GOP's efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act on his show, ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live," slammed Republicans for trying to entice Democrats to sign the short-term funding bill by attaching a six-year extension of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). 

"As you know, tying CHIP to spending bill is not a clean CHIP vote," Kimmel tweeted at Doug Andres, Ryan's press secretary. "It’s a transparent bid to lure Dems away from DACA. The majority, including Republicans, support a path to citizenship and full CHIP funding. Using kids’ lives as bargaining chips is disgusting. So stop it."

Kimmel first took aim at Andres on Wednesday night when the press secretary retweeted a tweet saying it would be "interesting" to see how many Democrats voted against the funding bill that could include CHIP, given their vocal push to renew the insurance. 

"Shame on you for making CHIP a bargaining chip, shame on you for tying our children's lives to immigration and shame on you and @SpeakerRyan for doing ANYTHING other than funding CHIP cleanly and IMMEDIATELY," Kimmel said. 

"Republicans are the ones funding CHIP completely and immediately. Democrats are the ones voting no," Andres fired back at the host. "Also, on what planet are Republicans the ones tying anything to immigration?"

"The one you're destroying to serve your corporate masters," Kimmel replied late Wednesday night.

Republicans and Democrats have been debating immigration this week, and a possible deal extending an amnesty program for young immigrants in exchange for tighter border security. 


While lawmakers say they are close to a funding deal that could include the CHIP extension, President TrumpDonald John TrumpUSAID administrator tests positive for COVID-19 Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year DOJ appeals ruling preventing it from replacing Trump in E. Jean Carroll defamation lawsuit MORE tweeted Thursday morning that "CHIP should be part of a long term solution, not a 30 Day, or short term, extension!" 

Kimmel eventually grew tired of the argument when Andres said Democrats have "no actual problem" with the stopgap measure and are only frustrated about what's not included.

A government bill must pass before Saturday to avoid a shutdown. 

Kimmel has in the past bashed Republican leaders in Congress for trying to change the Affordable Care Act, a law he says should not be repealed because it provides essential care for children such as his own son, who underwent surgery for a heart condition last year.