This guest piece from Robert Lyons posted literally just as the deal to keep the government became known. The sentiments still stand for how we got into the shutdown and for any future one in the next few weeks.
There is no choice to be made between Children and Dreamers.
There is no choice to be made between two vulnerable populations in need of our help whose only differences are the geographic locations of their births.
But there is a choice to be made between doing the morally right thing and doing the opportunistically wrong thing.
Republicans chose to present a false dilemma to the Senate and the American public.
Republicans chose partisan posturing over policy creation.
Republicans chose sound bites over substance.
Republicans chose to hold hostage the health of children and the futures of Dreamers.
When CHIP expired in September, where was the urgency from Republicans to pass a clean extension?
CHIP was never an urgent priority of Republican leadership. Instead, it was never more than a “chip” to be played in a cynical game of partisan gamesmanship. A “chip” to be played when it was needed to bludgeon Democrats.
DACA was never an urgent priority of Republican leadership. Instead, it was a political football Republicans were more than happy to keep punting down the road. Something to promise Democrats but never deliver on.
With only 6 WEEKS LEFT before President Trump’s artificially imposed deadline, it is understandable that 690,000 Dreamers feel a sense of urgency regarding their status. Their careers, their families, and their very lives are at stake.
If you’re angry that the government was shut down to help “illegal aliens,” your anger is misdirected.
Be angry that President Trump’s continued flip-flopping on DACA has injected such great uncertainty into the legislative process.
Be angry that Republican leadership chose to ignore bipartisan legislation that would have helped the Dreamers and funded the government.
Be angry that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) chose not to pass a measure that would have continued military pay and benefits through a shutdown.
Be angry that Sen. McConnell also chose to ignore a measure to pass an extension of CHIP.
Be angry that the Republican Party that controls the Executive and Legislative branches of government can’t create or pass a long term spending bill because of intra-party feuds and instead chooses to fund the most powerful nation in the world on a MONTHLY BASIS.
Be angry that the party that shut down the government in an inane attempt to dismantle the ACA now hypocritically accuses the Democrats of using a tactic Republicans once encouraged and embraced.
But above all else, be angry that people’s lives have become nothing more than partisan talking points and pawns in a sick game of political brinksmanship to Republicans.
Don’t blame the Democrats for the entirety of the current shutdown.
Instead, hold Republican officials accountable and advocate for the health of our nation’s children and the future of our nation’s Dreamers.
Pass a clean extension of CHIP.
Pass the bipartisan immigration/DACA legislation.
by Robert Lyons