House Dems intensify opposition to stopgap bill, blame Trump for shutdown
House Democrats are digging in on Day One of the government shutdown, blaming President Trump for scuttling the talks and vowing to oppose any new spending bill that lacks a host of their priorities, including protections for young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.
After huddling with her troops in the Capitol basement Saturday morning, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said it’s meaningless to support another short-term spending patch, known as a continuing resolution (CR), until the parties have agreed on the contours of a broader fiscal 2018 funding package that meets several of the Democrats’ demands.
That list includes parity between defense and nondefense spending increases, a lifeline for troubled pensions, disaster relief for victims of hurricanes and wildfires, a boost in health-care funding and a path to a deal for protecting immigrants benefiting from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
“These are the terms under which we will ask the Appropriations Committee to write the bills, [and] then there’s reason to have a CR. Otherwise … these [CRs] could go on forever,” Pelosi said.
“It’s no use having another CR unless we have the terms of engagement of how we go forward on the … parity, on the pay-fors, on the pensions, on the DACA and on the border security.”
The comments arrive amid a flurry of partisan finger-pointing over who’s to blame for the failure of Congress to extend government funding beyond Friday night’s deadline.
GOP leaders are taking shots at Senate Democrats, who filibustered a House-passed 30-day CR to protest the absence of a DACA deal, among other concerns.
Democrats have a decidedly different take, noting that Trump last year had promoted the idea of using a government shutdown as a negotiating tool, particularly when it came to securing new funding for the southern border wall that was central to his campaign.
Democratic lawmakers are placing blame for the shutdown squarely at the feet of the president — a shutdown that arrived on the one-year anniversary of Trump entering office.
Pelosi was brutal in her assessment of the president’s first year in office.
“A big fat failure ‘F,’ for that first year,” she said.
“He said of President Obama, who didn’t control the Congress, ‘It starts at the top.’ Well, exactly what he said. The problems start at the top and have to get solved from the top,” she said.
“The president is the leader, and he’s got to get everyone in a room and he’s got to lead.”
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