Senate Democrats Vote To Shut Down The Federal Government
‘What we just witnessed on the floor was a cynical decision by Senate Democrats to shove aside millions of Americans for the sake of irresponsible political games. A government shutdown was one hundred percent avoidable. Completely avoidable. Now it is imminent. All because Senate Democrats chose to filibuster a noncontroversial funding bill that contains nothing -not a thing - they do not support. Perhaps, across the aisle, some of my Democratic colleagues are feeling proud of themselves.'
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor after Senate Democrats voted to shut down the government:
“What we just witnessed on the floor was a cynical decision by Senate Democrats to shove aside millions of Americans for the sake of irresponsible political games. A government shutdown was one hundred percent avoidable. Completely avoidable. Now it is imminent. All because Senate Democrats chose to filibuster a noncontroversial funding bill that contains nothing –not a thing – they do not support. Perhaps, across the aisle, some of my Democratic colleagues are feeling proud of themselves.
“But what has their filibuster accomplished? The answer is simple – their very own government shutdown. Shutdown effects on the American people will come as no surprise. All week, as we have stood on the floor and begged our colleagues to come to their senses, Senate Republicans have described exactly what this will mean.
“For America’s men and women in uniform, shutting down the government means delayed pay. For the many thousands of civilian employees who support their missions, it means furloughs. And for the families of fallen heroes, it may well mean a freeze on survivor death benefits. For veterans who rely on our promise of care, shutting down the government means threatening their access to treatment.
“For so many Americans struggling with opioid addiction, the same is true. And thanks to the Democratic Leader’s decision to filibuster an extension of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, low-income families will slip closer to losing health coverage for their kids. And in many states this is an emergency.
“I’m having trouble understanding which one of those outcomes my Democratic colleagues could possibly be proud of. Which one of them? I think our friends on the other side took some really bad advice. I’d hate to have to try and explain this myself. They ignored the Governors, including seven Democrats, who wrote Congress, begging us to extend S-CHIP for nine million children. And they ignored the needs of millions of Americans who rely on the federal government for important services.
“They held all this hostage over the completely unrelated issue of illegal immigration. Republicans in the Senate have done all we can to continue the normal operations of the federal government and secure certainty for S-CHIP kids. We could pass it tonight, it could go to the president for signature, and these kids would be okay.
“We will continue to do all we can. We will vote again. So the American people know who stands for them.
“And when our friends across the aisle remember who it is they actually represent, we will be ready to come together in the bipartisan discussion that will be necessary to clean up all of this mess. We’ve all been having private conversations here on the floor. Almost everyone on both sides doesn’t understand how we ended up here. Because most of this stuff we agree on. There’s only one reason we ended up here: the shoehorning of illegal immigration into this debate.
“Now having said that, there is a lot of sympathy in this body for doing something about the DACA kids. It’s not like nobody is interested in that – we’ve been talking about it for three months. But the one reason we are where we are, is because we couldn’t close out any of these other component parts. Because our friends on the other side said we’ve got to deal with this issue. This issue is the key to getting defense spending. This issue is the key to getting help for S-CHIP kids. And on, and on, and on.
“I think most of the American people believe that shutting down the government for this issue – that doesn’t even ripen until March – is irresponsible. I’ve just listed all of the people who are going to be adversely impacted by this action. So we’re going to keep on voting. The government may be heading into shutdown, but the Senate is not shutting down. We’re hoping to talk and resolve this. I don’t think it makes this institution look very responsible. The American people should expect better from us than this.”
Related Issues: Appropriations, Senate Democrats, America's Military, Health Care, Immigration