05.01.2017 1

At some point, keeping the government open will be the only thing accomplished

By Natalia Castro

In President Trump’s first 100 days, he did not shut down the government; however, that seems to have come at a pretty hefty price — that is, most of the President and the GOP’s promises to the American people. In order to avert a shutdown, the House and the Senate negotiators reached an agreement over the weekend. The next deadline, in the constant budget crisis, will be at the end of the fiscal year, September 30.

The large problem with this continuing resolution though, is that it does not appear to include some pretty critical pieces of Trump campaign, such as the border wall, healthcare reform, defense funding, the defunding of Planned Parenthood, or tax reform.

It would appear when Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer threatens a partial government shutdown if any of these elements are included in the appropriation legislation — or any other legislation — Republicans have little issue backing down.

Meanwhile, Democrats demanded Obamacare subsidies be extended in the budget and threatened a shutdown once again if they were removed as Republicans have promised. But alas, an administration official and Congressional sources confirmed for NPR on April 26, that “The White House…will not cut off federal subsidies that help low-income Americans pay for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, at least for now.”

Once again, the Democrats threatened a shutdown and got exactly what they wanted, while the Republicans rolled over. Without even a majority in Congress, Democrats are still being allowed to call the shots.

Instead of critical defense funding President Trump promised, Democrats are bailing out insurance companies. Trump took his frustration to twitter, tweeting, “Democrats jeopardizing the safety of our troops to bail out their donors from insurance companies. It is time to put #AmericaFirst” But Trump continues to maintain, “I promise to rebuild our military and secure our border. Democrats want to shut down the government. Politics!”

If he hopes to keep this promise, the next week will be vital to his plan’s success.

Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning explains, “President Trump needs to double down on the continuing resolution now… When Schumer predictably shuts down the government over the wall, then President Trump should make it clear that non-defense, non-security federal workers who are laid off will not be paid. If there is no consequence for shutting down the government, then Democrats will continue extorting Republicans on every continuing resolution that comes up throughout the entire Trump administration.”

Trump’s promises from repealing Obamacare to building the wall will always face just as much rejection from Democrats in September, so Trump and Congressional Republicans need to make it clear they will not continue backing down as they have been.

Republicans even came shockingly close to proposing a new Obamacare reform bill last week, but despite only needing to sway one more Republican into approval, Republicans decided to delay the vote when Schumer threatened a shutdown on the continuing resolution.

This makes the only things Congress has successfully passed are issues such as Congressional Review Act regulation rescissions and the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch; both of which only required a simple, 51 vote majority to pass in the Senate.

The nomination of Justice Gorsuch was only possible because the Senate Republicans voted to remove the filibuster from Supreme Court nominees, allowing them to move forward with a simple majority.

If Republicans and President Trump want to move forward on their promised legislative agenda, Obamacare reform, building the wall, defense funding, defunding planned parenthood, and tax reform must be on the table in September.

Whether it means removing the filibuster on continuing resolutions or simply letting the government shut down, Republicans must show Chuck Schumer what it means to be the minority in Congress. President Trump and the GOP made promises to the American people, now they must follow through or their power will truly just be an illusion.

At some point, keeping the government open will be the only thing accomplished at the rate we are going.

Natalia Castro is a contributing editor at Americans for Limited Government.

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