Fox News is not typically known for criticizing Republicans.
But on Thursday, Shepard Smith, who has been notable for debunking the Trump camp’s fake talking points, cast a light on the GOP’s cowardly strategy of passing the buck for an impending shutdown.
“Back in Washington, there is one discussion: government shutdown,” said Smith. “Of course, with one party in charge of everything, a government shutdown will not happen, right? I mean, never in the history — at least modern history — of the country has there been a government shutdown when a single party is in charge of Washington.”
The last time the government shut down while under the control of one party, Jimmy Carter was president. The government shut down five times between 1977 and 1979. But Democrats then proceeded to lose the White House and the Senate, so this example hardly bodes well for Republicans.
Fox host: You can’t blame Dems for shutdown when “you’re in charge of everything”
In particular, Smith took Republicans to task for trying to make funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) a political weapon in the debate, by attaching it to the resolution.
“The GOP plan was to ‘dare’ the Democrats to vote against that measure saying, ‘We funded the child health insurance program or CHIP for six years,” Smith said. “You’re going to vote against children’s health?”
Yet, Smith noted, Trump nearly killed the whole thing on Thursday morning when he “blasted out a tweet” saying CHIP should not be separate from the spending resolution, only later hastily reversing himself a few hours later.
In doing so, Trump inadvertently emphasized how the inclusion of CHIP was simply a stunt. Republicans should have funded the program all the way back in September, but did not — partly because they were focused on Obamacare repeal and tax cuts for billionaires, and partly because, as Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy callously put it, the lives of sick kids could be used as “leverage.”
Right now, Republicans are trying to use that leverage to renege on their promise to fix Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which protects 800,000 young immigrants, and which Trump unilaterally revoked last year, manufacturing this entire standoff in the first place.
Democrats agreed to a compromise with Republicans that would protect DACA and include Trump’s “border security” demands, only for Trump to reject it because he is afraid too many black people will emigrate from “shithole countries.” Now Republicans will not bring it to the floor, even though it is the only way to get consensus on the budget resolution.
All of these facts are well-established, but Republicans want to pin the entire thing on Democrats. They have even created a website to promote their new hashtag, “#SchumerShutdown.”
Smith’s segment is a warning to Republicans that this ploy will not work. They run the show. They made all the significant political decisions that have led Congress to the brink of a shutdown. And the American people can see it.
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