Political Obstruction is Democrats’ Top Priority
‘Democrats have made a marketing decision to obstruct President Trump, at all costs, even if it hurts substantive priorities they used to support. That’s why we’re in Day 26 of this partial government shutdown, with Democrats refusing to even show up and negotiate on funds for border security which they used to brag about supporting. That’s why Senate Democrats have decided that aid for Israel and help for the people of Syria are not worthy of this body’s time…’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding the need to secure our border and fund the government:
“‘One dollar.’ That is the amount the new Speaker of the House recently said she’d be willing to invest in physical barriers at our southern border. One dollar. Well, talk about serious, good-faith negotiations. Talk about taking border security seriously. The men and women on the ground have been unambiguous about the crises they’re facing. The entry of criminal aliens and gang members into our country. The drugs that go on to infect communities. The ongoing humanitarian crises that are fueled by our government’s mixed signals and our inability to enforce our own laws. According to Speaker Pelosi, these urgent issues are worth about 33 cents each. 33 cents.
“As we all know, that is because the Speaker has recently defined a brand-new dogma of the Democratic Party: Actually enforcing our immigration laws with the help of physical barriers is, quote, ‘an immorality.’ Now, that’s quite the indictment of her fellow Democrats’ past positions. Recent years have seen Democrats vote for billions of dollars in physical walls and fencing. Recent years have seen a Democratic administration build the same steel barriers that this president now wants to expand.
“But these days, it seems like Democrats are happy to take their cues from the gentlelady from San Francisco and her extreme, fringe position that walls have now become immoral. Really? Yesterday, President Trump issued yet another bipartisan invitation for members of Congress to meet at the White House and negotiate. And yet again, only Republicans came to the table. For the American people, who deserve both a functioning government and a secure border, that’s not a promising sign. For federal workers who are now stretching every dollar until Democrats lose interest in dead-end political games, the Speaker’s one dollar punchline isn’t too entertaining.
“So for everyone’s sake, I hope my Democratic colleagues will reverse course and work seriously with this White House to reach an agreement that can become law and fulfill our promises to the nation. In the meantime, as the White House has made clear just yesterday, cherry-picking continuing resolutions that fail to address the border security crisis will not receive the president’s signature. The only way out of this impasse is a bipartisan agreement. And as the Democratic Leader and I have both stated here on the floor, only an all-corners bipartisan agreement will receive a vote in the Senate.
“Before the Senate today is a resolution from the Democratic Leader that would overrule career civil servants at the Treasury Department and fire from the hip on one of the top foreign policy concerns of the United States. This is the pending business... despite the fact the Democratic Leader had previously proclaimed he would not let the Senate address any business during this partial government shutdown.
“Remember, that was the reason the Democratic Leader gave for leading a Democratic filibuster of a bipartisan package that would have reaffirmed our commitment to defend our allies in Israel, stand alongside Jordan, and unlock justice for the victims of Bashar al-Assad’s rogue regime. On one day, they insist we shouldn’t do any business. On another, it’s time to bring up an unrelated resolution of their own.
“At the end of the last Congress, they say they support bipartisan support for legislation to shore up our allies in the Middle East and deliver justice for victims of unspeakable violence in Syria. Now, they’re filibustering the bill and have voted against it -- three times. These twists and turns seem impossible to follow. Until you remember the one key to our Democratic colleagues’ thinking these days: Political spite for the president comes first. You see, the administration isn’t opposed to these bipartisan, urgent bills to back Israel, Jordan, and the Syrian people. President Trump might sign these bills. We might actually make a law, here. So naturally, the Democratic Leader isn’t interested. Democrats in Congress don’t think working with the president to accomplish things suits their political brand these days.
“But the Democratic Leader’s new resolution, that he’s been happy to prioritize ahead of Israel and the Syrian people? It offers him a chance to make a political splash. It overrules the careful actions of career civil servants at Treasury and blows up a nuanced decision that the current law actually requires. Supporting Israel? Not too interesting to my friends across the aisle. But picking a political fight with the president? You better believe they’re game for that. This is the key to understanding this unusual moment in the Congress. This is the central principle.
“Democrats have made a marketing decision to obstruct President Trump, at all costs, even if it hurts substantive priorities they used to support. That’s why we’re in Day 26 of this partial government shutdown, with Democrats refusing to even show up and negotiate on funds for border security which they used to brag about supporting. That’s why Senate Democrats have decided that aid for Israel and help for the people of Syria are not worthy of this body’s time, but are happy to spend floor time trying to blow up a highly technical Treasury Department decision which current law actually requires. Political obstruction is their top priority. Everything else follows from that."
Related Issues: Appropriations, Immigration, Senate Democrats, Homeland Security