Budget ‘shutdown’ based on contrived set of priorities

This is Washington today. When 2018 started, Republicans who own majorities in the House and Senate as well as the White House were labeled heartless if they did not extend the Child Health Improvement Program.

A six-year extension of the program is in the budget that was rejected Friday and caused a three-day government shutdown. The concession was termed “doggy-dew” by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

The revised sticking point became protection for “dreamers,” immigrants brought to this country as children who are now here illegally. It was the sticking point even though it’s not supposed to be connected to the budget. The deadline for resolving that issue is March. Beyond that, President Trump and many Republican leaders have shown signs of acceptance of dreamers into the legal immigration process as long as there is a wall and other protection against a continual flow of illegal immigrants into this country.

So, for three days military personnel and their families were defending their country while not getting paid while Democrats made protection of illegal immigrants the top priority.

Without protection from the major media, this budget resistance would have been viewed for what it was – a fraudulent maneuver based on a false priority that is a slap in the face of legal immigrants and other Americans.

Never mind Monday’s supposed deal to end the shutdown. It’s insulting to keep moving the ball on “drop-dead issues” and use as a weapon a shutdown of the government Americans are paying for.

Americans can do math. The House approved the budget and all but four Republicans in the Senate backed the budget Friday. The Senate requires 60 votes for budget approval and it certainly appeared the shutdown came when Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer would not allow most Democratic Senators to vote for the budget.

Most Americans are catching on that part of the Washington power structure may not really want the immigration issue resolved unless they get absolutely everything on the issue because they want to use it as campaign fodder in mid-term elections this fall. They also don’t want to allow the sitting president to have any victories.

That’s the shameful reality and more people are picking up on it than our traditional media – which has a lower approval rating than the president – realizes.

To prevent this embarrassment in the future, there should be legislation that automatically plugs in the previous year’s budget figures when budget talks stall and no elected official should be paid until budgets are settled.