"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Democrats Threaten Gov’t Shutdown After They Called It An “Extreme Step” That Was “Too Risky To Entertain”

December 15th, 2011 by mopns · No Comments

Senate Democrats, working with President Obama, are currently threatening a government shutdown. They’ve decided to hold hostage an agreement on appropriations bills, which includes funding for our troops, over political considerations.

As Roll Call reported yesterday, “With only three days left before a government shutdown, Democrats took a gamble Tuesday, strategically linking a package to extend the payroll tax holiday and unemployment benefits to an all-but-agreed-upon bill that wraps up fiscal 2012 appropriations. . . . [I]n the process, they’ve made themselves vulnerable to the attack they’ve been using all year against Republicans: that they’re holding the government hostage until they get what they want. . . . A frustrated Rep. Mike Simpson [R-ID] — who as chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Environment has slogged his way through dozens of riders to reach a bipartisan deal — said Democrats are playing shutdown politics. . . . ‘After six months of trying to blame Republicans for trying to shut down the government, they’re the ones that won’t sign the conference report that would keep the government open.’”

Recall that Democrats spent most of the year saying things like “one thing we can’t do is take extreme steps like shutting down the government,” as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said in February. At the same time, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) warned, “Because make no mistake about it – if you start playing with shutting the government down, the same credit markets that abhorred default get very nervous. And we don’t know the consequences of what would happen. It’s too risky to even entertain.” Schumer later said, “It would be a tragic mistake to force a government shutdown . . . .” In April, Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) said, “The American people did not elect us to shut down the government.” Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) said, “It’s insanity that we would hurt our economy by shutting down the federal government . . . .” and Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) claimed that “any shutdown would injure or at least slow down the recovery that we’re in the midst of right now.”

Earlier this year, Democrats seemed to believe that shutting down the government was an “extreme step” that was “too risky to entertain.” Yet this week Democrats are threatening just that: shutting down the government, holding funding hostage to another priority of theirs.

Speaking on the Senate floor earlier, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell explained the situation, “Our most immediate concern is that despite federal funding expiring on Friday night, my friend the Majority Leader is blocking action on the funding bill. That is our most immediate concern and we should address it first because the deadline is literally just days away. . . . Since there is agreement on the funding bill, but no agreement and no plan at all from our friends across the aisle to pass a payroll tax cut extension in the Senate . . . we ought to finish our most immediate concern first.” He added that Democrats “have no plan, and some might suggest no desire, to pass a payroll tax cut extension—the President’s top priority . . . . They’ve made no attempt at all to produce a bill that can pass the Senate. It is their responsibility in the majority to do.  Instead we’ve wasted week after week with one senseless show vote after another.  Votes that one member of the Democrat Senate leadership recently admitted were designed solely to ‘score points on millionaires.’”

As Roll Call points out, “Even some Democrats were frustrated at the tactic. ‘Our [government funding] bill is done, and it should go to the president immediately,’ said Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), ranking member on Simpson’s subcommittee. ‘We’re not holding it up. … I can’t speak for Harry Reid. I can’t speak for him. As far as I’m concerned, it should be done.’”

Related:

Rasmussen Reports: 45% Say Democrats, Republicans in Congress Are Extreme

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