CHIP vote shows hypocrisy of Rosen, Democrats

Either Democrats don’t believe their own rhetoric or they want children to die.

That’s the state of American politics with a government shutdown looming as of this writing. On Thursday, the House passed a temporary spending measure and six years of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Although Republicans have a 51-49 majority in the upper chamber, Senate rules require a spending bill to get 60 votes. This gives Democrats the power to force a shutdown. Democrats are holding out for protections for illegals brought to the United States as children.

Almost every House Democrat, including Rep. Jacky Rosen, now running for the Senate, voted against the funding bill for the same reason. This means that Rosen prioritized illegal aliens over health insurance for American children. For months, the left has told the public that CHIP is all that stands between parents and dead babies — “literally.”

CHIP is “literally a life-and-death program for American kids,” said liberal scold and part-time comedian Jimmy Kimmel on a December episode of his late-night TV show.

“If CHIP dies, children will, too,” blared the headline on a Denver Post editorial.

After voting for CHIP funding back in November, Rosen said, “I could not in good conscience vote against renewing a program that tens of thousands of Nevada children depend on for access to health care.”

Rosen broke with her Democratic colleagues with that vote. Democrats objected to combining CHIP with provisions removing several hundred thousand people who hadn’t paid their premiums from the Obamacare rolls.

That’s the same CHIP funding she voted against on Thursday. In her own words, Rosen voted against keeping “our children healthy.”

Democrat willingness to use a shutdown for leverage also shows hypocrisy. When Sen. Ted Cruz pushed for a government shutdown in 2013 to stop Obamacare, Democrats were besides themselves.

“I call them ‘legislative arsonists’,” Nancy Pelosi said in 2013.

Back then, Schumer said shutting off government funding to get your way on a policy issue was akin to someone taking “your wife and children hostage.”

“You don’t get to extract a ransom for doing your job, for doing what you’re supposed to be doing anyway, or just because there’s a law there that you don’t like,” said then-president Barack Obama.

This is all nuts. Republicans have shown every sign of being committed to funding CHIP, even if it’s not the federal government’s job to supplement state efforts to provide health care. It was always a timing question. That didn’t stop Democrats from spending months trying to score political points off it.

For most Americans, getting the hiccups would be more inconvenient than a government shutdown. Social Security checks will still be mailed. The U.S. Postal Service will continue deliveries and losing money. The Armed Forces will keep protecting us.

A prolonged shutdown would inconvenience federal contractors and some members of the military. In 2013, however, Obama’s administration had to barricade off open air, unattended national monuments to show that the shutdown was hurting the public.

But you don’t get to spend years turning the outrage machine up to 11 and then turn it off when nuance becomes politically convenient.

So tell us, Democrats, why do you want children to die?

Listen to Victor Joecks discuss his columns each Monday at 9 a.m. with Kevin Wall on 790 Talk Now. Contact him at vjoecks@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4698. Follow @victorjoecks on Twitter.

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