NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Friday, January 19th, 2018

For the first time, the federal government has shut down under one party (Republican!) rule

Proving once again that they are utterly incapable of governing, the Trump regime and congressional Republicans collectively failed tonight to keep the federal government funded and open for business, resulting in the first government shutdown in the history of the United States under one party rule.

“This will be called the #TrumpShutdown,” said Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer in remarks on the Senate floor, after detailing his unsuccessful efforts to strike a deal with Republicans to supply Democratic votes to avert a shutdown.

“There is no one who deserves the blame for the position we find ourselves in more than President Trump,” Schumer added.

U.S. Representative Suzan DelBene, who represents NPI’s home congressional district (WA-01) noted that Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan are also to blame.

“We’ve known funding would expire at the end of Friday since we passed a Continuing Resolution just four weeks ago,” said DelBene.

“And yet, congressional leaders failed once again to bring up bipartisan legislation that would keep the government funded. We also know from the last Republican shutdown that it dramatically harms our constituents and the economy. From crabbers and brewers to veterans and park rangers – a government shutdown effects nearly every aspect of our economy and harms all Americans. Republicans control every branch of government, and it is shameful that they refused to work in a bipartisan way to fund the basic government services American taxpayers expect.”

U.S. Senator Patty Murray echoed DelBene’s statement.

“Once again, Republican leaders have pushed us into a completely unnecessary government shutdown. Democrats have made clear, again and again, for months and months, that we want to work with the Republican majority on a bipartisan deal to address the many challenges facing the families we represent.”

“But instead of working with us to get a result, President Trump and Republican leaders who control the House and Senate were more focused on pointing fingers and playing political games. This is no way to run the government and no way to treat families looking to Congress for solutions, not dysfunction and uncertainty.”

“Now that Republicans have shut down the government, I am going to be doing everything I can to persuade the Republican majority to reopen the government and get to work with Democrats to increase investments in defense and domestic priorities, pass a long-term extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program [CHIP] and critical primary care programs, and finally pass legislation to protect our DREAMers who have known no home but America and who now have to live in fear for their futures,” Senator Murray added.

“There are bipartisan solutions to all of these challenges, and there is no reason for Republican leaders to stay in their partisan corner and refuse to get them done.”

“This Republican shutdown will significantly impact families and communities in Washington State and across the country if it is not ended quickly and responsibly. I am ready to get to work with Republicans to fix the problems they have created, and I can only hope that they decide to put the people and families we represent above partisanship and politics.”

“There is no question this federal shutdown creates chaos, confusion and uncertainty for hard-working families, students, small businesses, veterans and seniors across Washington State,” agreed Governor Jay Inslee.

“My office is working with state agencies to understand how their operations, and Washington’s communities, will be impacted.”

“At this point, we feel confident most of our agencies will be able to operate without interruption in the short-term. But we cannot speak for the federal services, and the tens of thousands of federal workers, in Washington State.”

“We need Congress to do its job and get a budget passed soon. President Trump needs to work with Democrats and Republicans in Congress on a bipartisan plan to immediately end this crisis and keep the government open.”

“We share numerous priorities such as protecting Dreamers, extending the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and addressing the opioid epidemic. There’s no reason Congress can’t get all these things done, now.”

Oregon Governor Kate Brown said in a statement she’s also very dismayed that Republicans have failed to keep the federal government open for business.

“The stakes are too high to put politics before people: President Trump stripped protections for Dreamers and Congressional Republicans have not prioritized Children’s Health insurance,” Brown said.

“Oregon’s families and Dreamers deserve certainty, not partisanship. But, as Washington D.C. falls apart, Oregonians will continue to come together. We must do everything in our power as a state to continue to protect our most vulnerable and provide the stability our economy needs to grow.”

“The Governor’s Office is working with state agencies to manage any impacts and continue normal operations,” Brown’s statement added. “If a shutdown lasts longer than two to three weeks, state agencies, depending on their own unique circumstances, may have to develop contingency plans.”

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