In May, President Trump tweeted “our country needs a good ‘shutdown’ in September to fix mess!” The context of this statement is important. The last budget was enacted in early May of this year. Republicans were weak at the negotiating table and virtually gave the Democrats all they asked for. Cities which defy federal law still receive federal funds, America’s largest abortion provider is still operating largely on taxpayer dollars, and President Trump’s oft promised border wall has yet to receive a down payment to start construction. With Republicans controlling the House, Senate, and White House, why does this happen?
There is a rule is the Senate that requires sixty votes to pass any legislation. This means that Republicans, who control 52 of 100 seats in the chamber, need 8 democrats in order to pass anything. This rule prevents Republicans from passing a good budget because the Democrats block any and all good legislation, including border wall funding. Regarding this rule, President Trump tweeted: “If Senate Republicans don't get rid of the Filibuster Rule and go to a 51% majority, few bills will be passed. 8 Dems control the Senate!” The president is correct, eight Democrats control the entire chamber.
President Trump’s statement regarding a “good government shutdown” is spot on. House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are responsible for this mess. For the past few years, both these men have agreed to and supported horrible spending legislation. Year after year they push through, at the last minute, 1,500+ page irresponsible spending bills. Most of the time, few people know what is in these bills until after they are passed. At best, these bills are made public two days before the scheduled vote. How can a Congressman or Senator read 1,500 pages in 48 hours and know enough to support or oppose the bill?
Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell know that no member can fully grasp these spending bills given the short time to read them. Mr. Ryan and Mr. McConnell are deceit-filled individuals who don’t have an ounce of integrity in their bodies. They no longer deserve the benefit of the doubt. Our country is 20 trillion dollars in debt and we continue passing irresponsible budgets. Also to blame are the representatives who vote in favor of this legislation. They share the blame with McConnell and Ryan. The Democrats aren’t the problem per-se. It is the Republican members with no backbone that are the problem.
September 30 is the deadline for the upcoming budget. Just last week, President Trump threatened again to shut down the government if Congress doesn’t fund his wall in the upcoming budget. Shortly after this, Speaker Ryan said “I don’t think a government shutdown is necessary, and I don’t think most people want to see a government shutdown, ourselves included.” Paul Ryan went on to say “more time” was needed in order to draft a plan for border wall funding. This is the same hogwash that we’ve heard for years in Washington, D.C. We need “more time” and a government shutdown is not “necessary.” Each year they kick the can down the road and blame all failures on the lack of time they have to get things done.
The only way that Congress will get its act together is if the president vetoes a bad budget bill.
President Trump must veto any budget that does not fund several of his priorities. Defunding Planned Parenthood and funding for the border wall are two of the most important. Americans should not be funding abortion providers and all of us deserve to have a secure border. Despite some claims, a government shutdown that forces Congress to fund the Trump agenda will be wildly popular amongst his voting base. President Trump should get out his veto pen and strike away.
It's not like a government shutdown would be as disastrous as the Chicken Littles claim it would be as 85% of the government would continue to function normally. Not only will this be a popular move, it will ensure that the president has a place at the negotiating table moving forward.