by Rep. Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.
Whenever the federal government shutdown ends, there is one inescapable conclusion concerning it’s cause: Democrats’ thirst for a diversion from the series of recent Republican victories in the public forum, specifically in the economy.
As explained below, there is no imminent threat to DACA immigrants’ legal status, and no urgency to the CHIP children’s health care program as Republicans had proposed funding for six years. There was, therefore no need for Democrats to force a government shutdown.
Except for politics. That leaves us with one undeniable truth as to the motivation for Democrats to aspire to shut down the government: Disrupt the good things happening to Americans under Republicans and, worse, President Trump.
The leftist Democrats cannot stand that the Republicans’ adherence to classical macroeconomic principles in governance has lead to a robust economic growth spurt of over 3% GPD growth in the last three quarters. They cannot tolerate that the tax package Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi called “the worst bill in the history of Congress” has led to companies voluntarily raising level entry wages for its employees and the provision of bonuses based on the moneys they are saving from the massive decrease in the corporate tax rates brought to them thanks to the Republicans. They cannot stand that the unemployment rate has reached a 43-year low and that African Americans are seeing the lowest unemployment rate since 1972.
Congressional Democrats know their message is collapsing under the weight of the nation’s economic reality. They can ill afford to allow the American people to continue to speak about these successes and how favorably they are being impacted by the predictable results of conservative fiscal policy. And most importantly, they cannot allow President Trump to bask in the glory of his newfound momentum at the one-year anniversary of his inauguration.
So what do congressional Democrats do?
They shut down the government hoping the conversation will shift to the Republicans’ inability to govern and the recklessness of a party shutting down the government despite having control of all three branches of government. (It’s possible the shutdown could even have a positive, if unintended, affect by revealing how little Americans’ notice these portions of government disappearing.)
Except there is no crisis, no disagreement, for the minority party to base such a fickle and evil act as shutting down our government, and the Republicans could not possibly pass a budget bill through the Senate without the cooperation of the Democrats because 60 votes are needed to pass funding measures.
In a move heralding their selfishness and disruptive stance on issues affecting all Americans, congressional Democrats opted to obstruct the passage of a budget, even a temporary one, ostensibly to demand some guarantee for DACA recipients and to advocate improvements for America’s CHIP program.
To be clear, DACA recipients are not immediately threatened in any way. Their present status is guaranteed by a Presidential Order expiring, not next week, but in March. Additionally, their position is doubly protected, at least for now, by a legally unsubstantiated ruling delivered by an activist judge from San Francisco, such that, even if March were to roll around without a solution regarding the legal status of children of illegal immigrants, their position would still be protected by the injunctive relief obtained for them by plaintiffs like the state of California.
So, where is the imminent threat to DACA recipients demanding that government services be shut down for immigrants legally residing in the United States and, worse yet, for American citizens?
There is none.
As to the CHIP program, the Republican proposal includes a provision that would continue funding the program delivering care to millions of children for the next six years, yet the Democrats would have you believe that but for their aggressive stance on disrupting the federal government’s function, the program would be severely threatened. Of course, this is a messaging lie being delivered by congressional Democrats to help support their untenable position
So where is the need to shut down the government in support our pediatric health care recipients?
Just like with DACA, there is none.
Despite the ill-founded wishes of congressional Democrats, the responsibility for this callus and grossly irresponsible act will fall squarely on them, and the longer they let this situation fester, the greater the level of Democratic dysfunction will appear to be.
Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopaedic surgeon and lawyer living in Venice, Florida. He is the author of The Federalist Pages and serves in the Florida House of Representatives. He can be reached through www.thefederalistpages.com to arrange a lecture or book signing.
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