EDITORIAL: Democrats play politics as government shutdown looms

If House Republican leaders can’t pass a short-term spending bill, another government “shutdown” looms. House Democrats are threatening to trigger the “crisis” unless the bill includes amnesty for those in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — or DACA — program.

Democrats and their stenographers in the media automatically blame Republicans for virtually every government shutdown — see the Obama era. This one, though, would be all on the Democratic leadership, which refuses to negotiate to achieve a solution for the so-called Dreamers. To Democrats, it seems, compromise is a one-way street.

As Politico reports, after House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer boycotted a negotiating session at the White House on Tuesday afternoon, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell started work on a plan to pass a short-term spending bill that would fund the government through December and into January. The measure would not include a fix for Dreamers — immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children — something Democrats have said must be part of any spending bill.

While President Donald Trump issued an executive order that will reverse DACA starting next spring, he supports the idea of maintaining the Dreamers’ protected status — and discussing the matter further — after both sides have voted to keep the government open.

That option is not good enough for Rep. Pelosi and Sen. Schumer. They seek to use the issue to score political points by tying the dreamers to funding the government. They know they’re unlikely to be held accountable for the stunt because the East Coast media elites are inclined to point the finger at Republicans and the president.

All this is ironic given that Sen. Schumer a few years back insisted on more than one occasion that he would oppose any effort to tie other legislative issues to a government funding bill. His principles have apparently evolved.

“Do we have to have a DACA solution?” Speaker Ryan said. “Yes, we do. The deadline’s March. But if they want to get to a solution, they ought to come to the table and start talking.”

In fact, Rep. Pelosi, Sen. Schumer and their fellow Democrats don’t really want a solution. They’re simply preening for their progressive base in an effort to mobilize support for next year’s midterms.

Republicans don’t need Democrats to pass a funding measure in the House. But Sen. Schumer will force a 60-vote threshold on any such proposal in the upper chamber, meaning it would need at least eight Democratic votes.

GOP congressional leaders should hold tight. If minority Democrats want to shut down the government over an issue on which they refuse to negotiate, let them own it. Elections, as they say, have consequences.

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