Democrats’ ‘Risky’ Shut Down Strategy Opposed By Majority Of Americans, Impact Felt Across Country


SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “Day one of the Senate Democrats’ government shutdown…. [L]ike the president, like the House, and like a bipartisan majority of Senators, the American people cannot begin to understand why the Senate Democratic Leader thinks the entire government should be shut down until he gets his way on illegal immigration…. Senate Democrats are starting to realize all this. They are starting to realize that their constituents, the president, the House, and a majority in the Senate are on one side of this. On the other side, all alone, is their Democratic Leader, who invented this unfortunate hostage situation and has led his party into this untenable position.” (Sen. McConnell, Floor Remarks, 1/20/2018)


Democrats’ ‘Wrong Bet On The Shutdown’

“Why Democrats may be making the wrong bet on the shutdown … A majority of Americans, 56%, said approving a budget to avoid a government shutdown was more important for Congress to do than passing a bill to maintain the DACA program. Only one in three Americans, 34%, said they prioritized a DACA fix over avoiding a shutdown. The preference for avoiding a shutdown holds across most demographic groups, even those that are traditionally Democratic-leaning.” (“Why Democrats May Be Making The Wrong Bet On The Shutdown,” CNN, 1/20/2018)


‘Senate Democrats Blocked Passage Of A Stopgap Spending Bill,’

‘A Risky Strategy To Force Republicans To Negotiate With Them On A Legislative Fix For … Immigrants Who Illegally Came To The Country’

AP: “The Latest: Senate Democrats derail bill to avert shutdown” (AP, @AP_Politics, Twitter, 1/19/2018)

NEW YORK TIMES: “Senate Democrats blocked passage of a stopgap spending bill to keep the government open.” (The New York Times, @nytpolitics, Twitter, 1/19/2018)

BLOOMBERG: “Senate Democrats block GOP funding plan as shutdown kicks in” (Bloomberg, @business, Twitter, 1/20/2018)

FOX NEWS: “In a late-night vote, Senate Democrats joined to block a bill that would have kept the government running until mid-February. A flurry of last-minute negotiations failed to produce an agreement. Democrats tried to use the Friday night funding deadline to win concessions from Republicans, including an extension of DACA, an Obama-era program protecting some young immigrants from deportation.” (“Government Braces For Shutdown As Senate Fails To Meet Deadline For Spending Deal,” Fox News, 1/20/2018)

THE HILL: “Most Democrats voted against the bill as part of a risky strategy to force Republicans to negotiate with them on a legislative fix for ‘Dreamers,’ immigrants who illegally came to the country at a young age …” (“Senate Rejects Funding Bill, Just Before Shutdown Deadline,” The Hill, 1/19/2018)


‘Effects Of Government Shutdown Felt Here At Home’ In Florida, Montana, Ohio, And Pennsylvania

Florida: ‘Some Long-Term Federal Responses To Natural Disasters Such As Hurricanes Irma And Maria Will Stop’

“Although most essential services will continue, South Florida will still feel the effects of the shutdown. Here's how: All National Parks will be closed because of the shutdown. However, the Trump administration said individual parks will ‘try to allow limited access wherever possible.’ … Hurricane relief: Some long-term federal responses to natural disasters such as hurricanes Irma and Maria will stop and will not resume until the shutdown is over.” (“How Does The Government Shutdown Affect South Florida?,” WPLG Local 10, 1/20/2018)

  • “Former FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, a Florida native, said a shutdown would be ‘a huge deal,’ according to The Washington Post. Any lapse in federal appropriations would result in temporary furloughs or unpaid leaves of absence for FEMA workers considered nonessential. ‘Who do you think processes the payments?’ Fugate asked, according to the Post. ‘Who do you think does all that back-end stuff? IT stuff? Plus, if you have policy issues, there’s no one to turn to.’” (“Florida Braces For Impact Of Federal Government Shutdown,” Miami Herald, 1/19/2018)

“A shutdown extending beyond the weekend inevitably will affect employees and missions at Kennedy Space Center, Patrick Air Force Base and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, and could potentially delay rocket launches…. Brig. Gen. Wayne Monteith, commander of the 45th Space Wing, previously told FLORIDA TODAY that only uniformed personnel would report to work in the event of a shutdown. That makes up only about a quarter of the Wing’s roughly 4,000-person work force. Civilians would be furloughed. Without access to his civilians, Monteith said, ‘I just can’t launch rockets.’ … ‘I would much rather be working to launch a rocket or working to fix my infrastructure, than I would be preparing to furlough folks,’ Monteith said in November …” (“The Shutdown In Brevard: How You Will Be Affected,” Florida Today, 1/20/2018)

“Florida is No. 3 in the number of veterans … other [non-health] Department of Veterans Affairs functions would be impaired, such as non-medical benefits offered through the Veterans Benefits Administration and burial services offered through the National Cemetery Administration. Roughly a third of the VBA’s approximately 23,000 workers are subject to furlough, while one-fourth of the NCA’s 2,000 workers would face furloughs.” (“Florida Braces For Impact Of Federal Government Shutdown,” Miami Herald, 1/19/2018)

Montana: Second-Largest State Employer Is The Federal Government

“Here's how a government shutdown will affect Montanans: Montana community healthcare providers like Riverstone Health in Billings will be negatively affected. In a press release, Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) spoke on this possibility.” (“Here's How A Government Shutdown Will Affect Montana,” KPAX-TV Missoula, 1/19/2018)

  • “State Budget Director Dan Villa put out a [memo] Friday on the impact of a lapse of federal appropriations on the state. Villa said agencies should know there are no assurances expenditures of federal funds during a lapse will be subsequently backfilled. He said state employees whose salaries are partially or fully funded by the federal government should report to work as scheduled … He also said contracts and grants which include federal dollars as a primary or secondary source of funds should not be signed, extended or renewed until such time as the federal funds have again been appropriated by Congress. As of 2015 the federal government is Montana’s second-largest employer with 12,500 employees. The state was the top employer with 23,500 workers.” (“Gov. Bullock: State Government Remains Open,” Great Falls Tribune, 1/20/2018)

Ohio: ‘By Far The Brunt Of Any Shutdown Will Be Felt By Ohio's 49,500 Federal Workers’

“The impending government shutdown will be felt far beyond Washington - including right here in northeast Ohio…. [R]angers [in Cuyahoga Valley National Park] will have to shut down anything that involves using park staff or indoor resources. A shutdown would mean that most park employees would be furloughed, and the visitor center would be closed. In addition, NASA Glenn says most of its 3,300 people would be furloughed as well for the duration of any shutdown.” (“Effects Of Government Shutdown Felt Here At Home,” Fox 8 Cleveland, 1/19/2018)

“By far the brunt of any shutdown will be felt by Ohio's 49,500 federal workers and Kentucky's 22,800. If you're a researcher at the Forensic Chemistry Center in Bond Hill, a branch of the federal Food and Drug Administration, for example, you could be furloughed. Same for the Environmental Protection Agency workers in Corryville.” (“Federal Government Shutdown: What You Need To Know In Greater Cincinnati,” Cincinnati Enquirer, 1/19/2018)

Pennsylvania: ‘Many Federally-Funded State Programs Could Be Affected’

“The last shutdown happened in 2013 … this one will have implications for many thousands of federal employees in Pennsylvania. The commonwealth has over 96,000 such employees total, many of whom would be furloughed without pay for however long the impasse lasts.” (“Here's How PA Would Be Affected In A Government Shutdown,” WITF Harrisburg, 1/19/2018)

  • “JJ Abbott, a spokesman for [Democratic] Governor Tom Wolf, said states have gotten some guidance from the White House on handling a shutdown…. He noted that depending on how long a shutdown lasts, many federally-funded state programs could be affected. Also affected would be federal parks, like Valley Forge and Gettysburg. They would close unless the state wanted to pay to keep them operating.” (“Here's How PA Would Be Affected In A Government Shutdown,” WITF Harrisburg, 1/19/2018)



Related Issues: Budget, Senate Democrats, Appropriations