Opinions

Showdown Over Shutdown

      Oh no not again! If you have been paying close attention to the media the last few days, you’ll have noticed the  decision to shutdown the government until an agreement is reached. On Monday Jan. 22, 2018 the Democrats voted to reopen the government, and President Trump signed the agreement. But what really caused the shutdown? After many weeks of “tax cuts” and DACA updates, a sudden shutdown cast a shadow over our nation.

      Flashback to 2013, there was a government shutdown for similar reasons. Every year Congress petitions budget bills to vote on, preparing for the following/upcoming year to come. During the 2013 budget debates, House speaker and chairman of the House budget committee Paul Ryan proposed to have Congress vote to increase defense funding by $54 billion dollars. This agreement was processed through the Budget Control Act (BCA 2011), which maintains order of government funding both defensive and non-defensive assets. The House Appropriations Committee attempted to manage the numbers orderly, but by late July the process failed, which lead to the October 2013 shutdown  over health care.

      Apparently lessons were not learned after the failure, as we witness this year Donald Trump reapplying the same concept of budgeting. Trump also proposed this year that Congress spend $54 billion in military operations. The House Republicans believed to have a solid plan. They chose to bypass the President’s recommendations and bump up spending to $72 billion, with $5 billion in lower caps for domestic spending. Their questionable decision led to the defiance of the BCA.

      Throughout the three days of closure all of Congress has played the “blame game”. According to Politico, the chairman of Senate Armed Services Committee John McCain (R-Ariz.) stated, “I remind my colleagues that the fiscal year started three weeks ago and that the Defense Department is currently operating under a continuing resolution,” McCain said in Senate debate. “We know the harmful effects it will have on the military. That is why getting to work on a budget deal is so urgent. We must delay no longer. The budget resolution is not meant to provide that broader budget agreement. This budget resolution is simply a means to get us to tax reform.”

      Last September President Trump issued a deadline telling Congress to formulate a replace for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, by March 4th. Since the statement was released many relatives and Congressmen have stressed over a resolution. If they do not come to an agreement in time, any undocumented immigrants both young and old will be deported immediately. Democrat supporters were in consensus to having the government shutdown in order to use it as a strong stance for DACA, along with better budgeting plans for 2018, but manyfeel betrayed as Democrats “caved,” agreeing to a reopening only three days later.

      Some Democrats are hopeful in Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, address to the floor. McConnell agreed to allowing a “level playing field” in negotiating immigration legislation. He also noted that if an agreement is not reached in time, the Senate would take up the task mid-February.

      Source: Politico

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