This Mitch McConnell Tweet Sums Up Democrats' Shutdown Choices Perfectly

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. smiles while answering a reporter's question at a news conference following a closed-door policy meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016. The Senate will take no action on anyone President Barack Obama nominates to fill the Supreme Court vacancy, Senator McConnell said as nearly all Republicans rallied behind his calls to leave the seat vacant for the next president to fill. His announcement came after Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee ruled out any hearing for an Obama pick. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

As tonight’s midnight deadline to approve the spending bill and avoid a government shutdown rapidly approaches, Senate Democrats have shown no sign of yielding. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has responded to their recalcitrance with a tweet that perfectly sums up the situation:


As McConnell pointed out in a statement on his office website, the Democrats “do not oppose a single thing in this bill.”

A bill that included an additional six years of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) program passed the House on Thursday. If the Senate does not pass the bill, the current CHIP funding will expire, along with the last agreement to continue funding our government, at 11:59 pm Eastern Time tonight.

Instead, Senate Democrats are continuing to demand concessions on DACA, an issue which both President Donald Trump and Republicans have indicated a willingness to provide a legislative fix.

To be honest, the criticisms that Trump has not been clear about what sort of DACA bill he might support are fair; he has expressed a conflicting range of opinions just within the last few weeks. But McConnell is right that the current system protecting those eligible under DACA for protection from deportation does not expire until March, and CHIP expires in a few hours.

At this point, both Democrats and Republicans should accept that one of the most predictable things about Trump is that he will be unpredictable. It makes little sense to shut down the government and allow CHIP to expire — a program Democrats have said for years is absolutely vital to protect or children will die! — because they are mad that the DACA problem they have until March to solve hasn’t been solved today.


I’ve had a lot of criticisms over the years for GOP messaging strategy, but have to say that McConnell (or, more likely, his comms team) is spot on here.

This is the choice the Senate Democrats have: continue funding CHIP, keep the government running, and keep working on DACA negotiations…or let it all crash and burn, and still be in no better position to get what they want on DACA.

As McConnell said in a floor speech earlier today, “Maybe it’s time come back to reality.”

Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker.


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