Extremists in Congress Float Idea of Another Shutdown
Following the Republican wave of electoral victories this November, the Senate is on track to flip to GOP control when the new senators are sworn in this January. In the remaining months between now and January, the Senate will be in a ‘lame-duck’ session – the time between Election Day and the subsequent Inauguration Day. Historically, lame-duck sessions accomplish little of note. However, this year there may be calamity brewing on Capitol Hill.
The current Continuing Resolution funding the government is scheduled to expire Dec. 11. And with funding the government becoming an increasingly bitter fight in recent years (see: 2013 government shutdown), it would appear that the newly-elected GOP majority in the Senate is prepared to use a government shutdown as a bargaining chip for, of all things, stopping the President from enacting any executive order focused on immigration reform.
While incoming Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has promised that there will not be another government shutdown under his leadership, it would appear that all the members of his caucus have not received the memo. Incoming Senate Budget Committee Chairman Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) has floated the idea of holding government funding hostage in order to defund any executive order President Obama may issue on immigration reform. Immigration reform is an increasingly partisan debate in Washington, and there is no conceivable reason to link the fight with funding the federal government.
The most recent federal government shutdown was the result of extremists in Congress seeking to defund the Affordable Care Act. The previous government shutdown was a gross abuse of power by our elected officials that achieved nothing, and it is incredibly concerning to hear extremists considering the same tactic for another overtly-partisan goal.
“A government shutdown is nothing to play around with, but it is clear that some in Congress want to go down that road again,” said NFFE National President William Dougan. “The fact is, last year’s government shutdown cost the American taxpayer $24 billion, cast millions of lives into turmoil, and in the end accomplished absolutely nothing. The same group of lawmakers contemplating another ill-advised shutdown demonstrates just how out of touch with reality some members of Congress really are.”