Friday, April 14, 2017
Dems Must Not Cooperate With Trumpites- GOP To Avoid Gov't Shutdown
Mick Mulvaney trying to justify Trump's "America Last" budget last month. Dems must not help him avoid a government shutdown if it means supporting domestic cuts.
According to White House Budget Guy Mick Mulvaney, quoted in the WSJ yesterday (p. A2), he is "looking to strike a deal to advance President Donald Trump's priorities when Congress passes bills that would fund the government beyond April 28th when current legislation expires."
The article goes on to note that "any bill to extend funding will need Democratic support to pass the Senate, where 60 votes are required to clear procedural hurdles." It may be thought that the 60 votes threshold isn't needed, and the Reepos could get the job done with "budget reconciliation" needing only a 51 majority, but don't look for it. The GOP's budget hawks faction is in no mood to give a pass to Mulvaney, including the bid to add $30b to military spending when they know the U.S. already spends more than the next 8 nations together. So, just like the GOP effort to repeal the ACA descended into a fiasco, there is no assurance a shutdown can be avoided with just GOP Senators' votes.
Hence, Mulvaney's trying to get Democrats on board. However, a glance at his policy objectives (ibid.) discloses the Dems absolutely can't be part of this travesty. Those objectives include:
1) A boost to defense spending by $30 billion
2) An increase in funding for Dept. Of Homeland Security by $3 billion - half of which would fund construction of the "border wall"
3) $15 billion in "offsetting" spending cuts to domestic programs
4) Greater "flexibility" to deny federal funds to all sanctuary cities that refuse to cooperate with authorities to round up illegal immigrants.
Schumer and Senate Dems have made clear they won't support any spending package that includes funding for a wall on the Mexican border, but this isn't enough. The objective items (3) and (4) are also clear deal breakers for obvious reasons, not least is that enabling their incorporation will wreak havoc in many Dem-dominated communities- and even citizens in "Trumpland"
For example, on the chopping block would be the school meals nutrition program so economically disadvantaged kids will now go hungry because of Mulvaney's cuts. The 'Meals on Wheels' program that feeds indigent seniors will also be cut.. That is the program - such as in our county- where volunteers drive to more than 2,100 isolated or disabled seniors' homes daily and provide them meals and often company. Currently 'Meals on wheels' serves an estimated 2.4 million seniors, more than half in Trumpland.
The Dems absolutely cannot allow those cuts to manifest, and that means refusing to assist the GOP in passing any spending bill by April 28 which includes them. If that fore ordains a shutdown, then so be it.
According to the same WSJ piece, Chuck Schumer said "We can get this done. I hope our Republican colleagues won't insist on things that force a government shutdown."
I hope he and fellow Dems understand that those "things" include the items I indicated above.