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.

Thursday, February 14th, 2019

U.S. Senate votes to keep the federal government funded through September 2019

The Unit­ed States Sen­ate vot­ed today to keep the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment fund­ed and open for busi­ness for most of the rest of the year, act­ing under the assump­tion that Don­ald Trump will (reluc­tant­ly) sign a bipar­ti­san appro­pri­a­tions bill recent­ly nego­ti­at­ed by House Democ­rats and Sen­ate Repub­li­cans.

The vote in favor of invok­ing clo­ture on House Joint Res­o­lu­tion 31 was eighty-four to fif­teen and the vote on final pas­sage was eighty-three to six­teen.

The roll call from the Pacif­ic North­west on final pas­sage was as fol­lows:

Vot­ing Aye: Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Pat­ty Mur­ray and Maria Cantwell (WA); Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley (OR), Jon Tester (MT); Repub­li­can Sen­a­tors Mike Crapo and Jim Risch (ID); Dan Sul­li­van and Lisa Murkows­ki (AK); Steve Daines (MT)

The sen­a­tors who vot­ed no were a mix of Democ­rats and Repub­li­cans, and all of them were from states out­side of the Pacif­ic North­west.

Demo­c­ra­t­ic pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates vot­ing no

  • Eliz­a­beth War­ren of Mass­a­chu­setts
  • Cory Book­er of New Jer­sey
  • Kamala Har­ris of Cal­i­for­nia
  • Kris­ten Gilli­brand of New York

Oth­er Democ­rats vot­ing no

  • Ed Markey of Mass­a­chu­setts

Repub­li­cans vot­ing no

  • Michael Braun of Indi­ana
  • Tom Cot­ton of Arkansas
  • Ted Cruz of Texas
  • James Inhofe of Okla­homa
  • Mike Lee of Utah
  • Rand Paul of Ken­tucky
  • Josh Haw­ley of Mis­souri
  • Mar­co Rubio of Flori­da
  • Ben Sasse of Nebras­ka
  • Tim Scott of South Car­oli­na
  • Pat Toomey of Penn­syl­va­nia

In addi­tion to sign­ing HJR 31, Mitch McConnell says Don­ald Trump will declare a nation­al emer­gency in order to divert fund­ing to con­struct­ing a wall on the coun­try’s bor­der with Mex­i­co, a move Democ­rats say is a total abuse of pow­er.

“The president’s dec­la­ra­tion is an alarm­ing and legal­ly dubi­ous attempt to side­step the con­sti­tu­tion­al author­i­ty grant­ed to Con­gress, the co-equal branch of gov­ern­ment where debates over immi­gra­tion reform and bor­der secu­ri­ty can be held open­ly in the light of day,” said Wash­ing­ton State Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee.

“There was a time when Repub­li­cans and Democ­rats were will­ing to sit at the table and dis­cuss com­pre­hen­sive immi­gra­tion reform,” the Gov­er­nor added.

“Under this admin­is­tra­tion, those dis­cus­sions have giv­en way to uni­lat­er­al and rep­re­hen­si­ble actions that sep­a­rate fam­i­lies, imprison chil­dren and launch tear-gas attacks on exhaust­ed moth­ers and fam­i­lies. This dec­la­ra­tion doesn’t do a sin­gle thing to make our nation safer. All it does is fur­ther divide Amer­i­cans, erode our sys­tem of checks and bal­ances, and advance the president’s agen­da of fear and mis­in­for­ma­tion. We should all be out­raged by this president’s abuse of pow­er.”

“For Pres­i­dent Trump to declare a state of emer­gency and cir­cum­vent Con­gress and the Amer­i­can peo­ple based on lies and a man­u­fac­tured cri­sis is an out­ra­geous, hor­rif­ic, and un-Amer­i­can abuse of pow­er and I can only hope that he lis­tens to peo­ple across the coun­try and revers­es course imme­di­ate­ly,” said Pat­ty Mur­ray.

“The idea that the Pres­i­dent not being able to pass his waste­ful wall spend­ing through Con­gress — a wall that he promised Mex­i­co would pay for and that wouldn’t even be built for years — con­sti­tutes an ‘emer­gency’ is absolute­ly absurd and deeply wrong. Democ­rats and Repub­li­cans agree on the need to invest in respon­si­ble bor­der secu­ri­ty and tack­le very real human­i­tar­i­an issues, but there is absolute­ly no ‘emer­gency’ and absolute­ly no jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for Pres­i­dent Trump to use this as an excuse to vio­late our Con­sti­tu­tion and laws.”

“If Pres­i­dent Trump takes this unprece­dent­ed step, every Amer­i­can who believes in the Con­sti­tu­tion and the sep­a­ra­tion of pow­ers in our great repub­lic should be shocked and angry. If Pres­i­dent Trump opens the door to pres­i­dents declar­ing fake emer­gen­cies to fund spend­ing they can’t per­suade the people’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives in Con­gress to sup­port, then a dan­ger­ous prece­dent has been set that puts our coun­try on a slip­pery and very dan­ger­ous slope.”

“What would stop this pres­i­dent from declar­ing anoth­er emer­gency the next time he wants to do some­thing that Con­gress doesn’t want? This is not the way our gov­ern­ment is sup­posed to work, and this is not remote­ly what was intend­ed when these emer­gency author­i­ties were cre­at­ed. I am going to stand with Democ­rats, Repub­li­cans, and every Amer­i­can who is con­cerned by this and we will fight back.”

“While Pres­i­dent Trump is threat­en­ing to move for­ward with this un-Amer­i­can and uncon­sti­tu­tion­al maneu­ver, today Democ­rats and Repub­li­cans in Con­gress once again did their job by ham­mer­ing out a bipar­ti­san com­pro­mise that reject­ed Pres­i­dent Trump’s waste­ful bor­der wall and instead invests in our nation­al pri­or­i­ties and avoids anoth­er com­plete­ly unnec­es­sary shut­down.”

“On behalf of fed­er­al work­ers and fam­i­lies in Wash­ing­ton state and around the coun­try, Pres­i­dent Trump must sign this bipar­ti­san bill to avoid anoth­er Trump Shut­down — and he must lis­ten to the will of the peo­ple and not take uni­lat­er­al and uncon­sti­tu­tion­al action to vio­late this bipar­ti­san agree­ment.”

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