On the Issues: Government Shutdown

Shutdown Is Another Fabricated Crisis, Voters are Tired of Congressional Games.


People across America and here in Texas’ Seventh Congressional District are tired of politicians putting party before country. The recent government shutdown is just the latest example.

If the Republican leadership, who controls both the House and the Senate and who controls what gets voted on, were to put a “clean” Continuing Resolution up for a vote, it would pass with bi-partisan support. The term “clean” is used to refer to a piece of legislation without amendments or riders that require separate debate and consideration.

If the Republican leadership were to put a clean Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act legislation up for a vote, both would pass with bi-partisan support and would likely include some border security funding, although not for Trump’s unpopular wall.

If the Republican leadership were to put a clean re-appropriation of the Childhood Insurance Program (CHiP) up for a vote, it would pass with bi-partisan support.

Each of these vital pieces of pending legislation has a different majority coalition behind it. When they get combined, these coalitions fall apart and nothing gets passed.

In this way the Republican leadership fabricated the current crisis.

The Trump Administration ended the DACA program on September 5, 2017, and dared Congress to make it permanent. Congressional Democrats and Republicans took up the challenge and agreed to add DACA to the next budget legislation. But, then Trump undermined the deal by not making it clear what he would sign, and what he would veto. Ironically, many people voted for Trump because he was not a career politician and he promised to end political games. A year later, Trump’s supporters just keep adding up the broken campaign promises.

More critical to the crisis creation was Speaker Ryan dropping DACA from the Continuing Resolution under pressure from his far-right Freedom Caucus, which includes John Culberson. Ryan, Culberson and the Freedom Caucus knew that this resolution would not pass the Senate without DACA. Rather than partner with some 193 Democrats, Ryan sided with his 32 anti-DACA Freedom Caucus members. Rather than be serious about funding our federal government, the House Republican Leadership sent a bill to the Senate that would never pass and set in motion the current budget shutdown.

This fabricated crisis did not have to happen – and Americans know it.

When I talk to voters all over the District, they repeatedly tell me they are tired of the games being played on Capitol Hill. Voters expect their elected officials to govern by putting our country before political games – especially when our national debt increases $1.5 billion every day the federal government is shut down.

For this reason, I said at a Martin Luther King Day Forum, that I would not play these games, and that I would not shut down our federal government over much needed immigration legislation that deserves its own debate and its own vote.

I was the only candidate to say so, because I know that voters expect more from their elected representatives. Voters expect them to do the job they were hired for.

I feel and understand the frustration Texans have for our current Congress generating yet another fabricated crisis. After all, this would have been the fourth continuing resolution since the 2018 fiscal year began on October 1, 2017. Because all versions now being considered are for only a few days or weeks, the American public will be forced to visit this goat rodeo again soon.

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