25 January 2018

Note from Norm: The Schumer Shutdown of America’s Government

The Schumer Shutdown.

Yes, the three-day shutdown of the United States government rests solely at the feet of Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

And, there is a fair share of the Senate Democratic Caucus who share the blame with the Minority Leader for a shutdown of the government that should have never happened.

Democrats decided to shut down the government because they insisted on a vote on DACA – the so-called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

The policy was established by the Obama Administration in June 2012 and rescinded by the Trump Administration in September 2017.

A declaration that came with the directive by the President that Congress had six months to come up with a better plan and solution to deal with Dreamers or he would.

Let me be clear: I support finding a legal path for Dreamers to remain in this country –but, it must be done within the confines of the law – not by usurping the law as President Obama did when implemented DACA.

Democrats, months ago, made it clear they would leverage the safety and security of America by pitting the interests of those in this country illegally against those of law abiding Americans who work hard, pay their taxes and play by the rules.

It was a blatant play to their political base and for the 15 to 20 Democrats considering running for President it was all about their personal political interests.

After holding America hostage for three days Democrats finally did what they should have done three days ago – vote to re-open the United States government.

They did so by claiming they had “won” a major concession from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to find a compromise on DACA or to allow an up or down vote on a DACA fix.

It’s a ruse to justify to their outraged political base their decision to put the interests of America before the partisan political interests.

Yet, in December Majority Leader McConnell had already made a commitment to address the issue of DACA.

The following is from a CNN story in December 20th of last year:

“There are bipartisan discussions in the Senate, involving the administration, about improving border security, interior enforcement and reforming important parts of our broken immigration system, including addressing the unlawfully established Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program…If negotiators reach an agreement on these matters by the end of January, I will bring it to the Senate floor for a free-standing vote.”

Keep in mind that Congress has until March 5th to fix DACA – the same deadline Democrats knew about prior to shutting down the government.

60 hours after Democrats shutdown America’s government that deadline is still the same.

After 60 hours 33 Democrats, realizing they had been lead down a cliff of political disaster, joined with Republicans to re-open the government.

As a Minnesotan who still believes in finding common ground, I applaud Senator Klobuchar for being a member of a bi-partisan – “Common Sense Coalition” — that worked hard to get both sides of the aisle to end the unnecessary government shutdown

Extreme left-wing groups, and 16 members of the Democratic Senate Caucus who put their partisan interests ahead of America, are furious with those who made the right decision to end the shutdown.

In the hours, days and weeks ahead their rhetoric will harden, and their demands will increase which will place even more pressure on Senate Minority Leader Schumer to play hardball on immigration issues.

Yet, Mitch McConnell made it clear that shutting down the government in the future over the issue of immigration will not stand.

“I think if we’ve learned anything during this process, it’s that a strategy of shutting down the government over illegal immigration is something the American people did not understand.”

Case in point was a poll conducted by CNN that concluded the following:

  • 56 percent believe approving a budget agreement to avoid a shutdown is more important than continuing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program protecting Dreamers.
  • 34 percent believe DACA is more important than a shutdown.

Those impacted by Schumer’s decision to shutter government were everyday Americans, those who work for the federal government and our nation’s military.

Those outside of the government would have been victims of an ill-advised political tactic that could have created irreversible harm to the poor, veterans, the elderly and children.

America’s government is back open and whether one agrees that it is too big, too expensive and too unwieldly the clear majority of Americans believe it should be open and doing its job.

Two weeks from now Congress will be back at it when the current measure to fund the government expires on February 8th.

With a commitment from Mitch McConnell to ensure a vote on Dreamers the time is fast approaching for Democrats to get serious about a policy that ensures border security and a broader immigration reform policy for America.

If they do not it is a clear signal that they will, once again, trade the interests of the nation for the special interests of their party.