Barring some miraculous breakthrough, on Saturday the present government shutdown will develop into the longest in American historical past. But it has already hit one other historic milestone: It is, by far and away, the stupidest government shutdown in American historical past.
In 2019, the federal government will spend a whopping $4.407 trillion. Yet Congress and the president are shutting down the government in a dispute between the $1.3 billion the Democrats have authorised for border safety and the $5.7 billion the president is demanding — exactly 0.0998 p.c of the whole federal price range. In Washington, that is thought-about a rounding error.
Worse, Democrats are doing it over a border wall strikingly much like one which they virtually unanimously supported simply 5 years in the past. While House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., now says that “a wall is an immorality,” again in 2013, she supported a invoice that required the building of 700 miles of border fencing. (Trump has referred to as for a wall of “anywhere from 700 to 900 miles” lengthy.) The invoice negotiated by the Gang of Eight, which included present Democratic leaders Sens. Charles Schumer, NY, and Dick Durbin, Ill., declared that “not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary [of Homeland Security] shall establish … the ‘Southern Border Fencing Strategy,’ to identify where 700 miles of fencing (including double-layer fencing) … should be deployed along the Southern border.”
That’s not all. The invoice additional stated that “the Secretary may not adjust the status of aliens who have been granted registered provisional immigrant status … until 6 months after … [the Secretary submits] a written certification that … there is in place along the Southern Border no fewer than 700 miles of pedestrian fencing.” In different phrases, Democrats agreed that no unlawful immigrants may get a path to citizenship till all 700 miles of border fencing had been absolutely accomplished.
Every Senate Democrat voted for the Gang of Eight invoice — together with 36 Democratic senators nonetheless serving right this moment. President Barack Obama agreed to signal it. Indeed, he praised the invoice for together with what he referred to as “the most aggressive border security plan in our history” and stated that “the Senate bill is consistent with the key principles for commonsense reform that I — and many others — have repeatedly laid out.” That bears repeating: Obama stated constructing a 700-mile fence on the southern border was in keeping with the rules of the Democratic Party.
Pelosi supported the Gang of Eight invoice, saying at the time that “every piece of this legislation has had bipartisan support.” But now we’re shutting down the government over a wall very like the one which Pelosi and Senate Democrats absolutely supported simply 5 years in the past?
Democrats will object that the Gang of Eight invoice did fund a border wall, nevertheless it was in alternate for lots of concessions. Of course it was. As Obama stated at the time, “the bipartisan bill that passed today was a compromise.” But right this moment, Democrats are refusing to compromise or lay out what concessions they’d settle for in alternate for wall funding. When Trump rhetorically backed off the wall and talked about “steel slats” — a fence — Democrats ignored it. When Vice President Mike Pence reportedly supplied a deal for $2.5 billion, Democrats dismissed it. In a White House assembly Wednesday, Trump requested Pelosi whether or not, if he agreed to finish the shutdown and negotiate individually on border safety, she would help wall funding. She stated no.
That is ridiculous.
In their response to the president’s handle to the nation, Schumer and Pelosi accused Trump of “manufacturing a crisis.” That is merely unfaithful. As The Post reported this week, the United States now faces “a bona fide emergency on the border” as “record numbers of migrant families are streaming into the United States, overwhelming border agents and leaving holding cells dangerously overcrowded with children, many of whom are falling sick.”
Democrats couldn’t probably be in a greater place to demand concessions type Trump if they’d manufactured a disaster. So put some calls for on the desk, for crying out loud. If Democrats assume they’ve Trump cornered, then squeeze him and check out get rather a lot out of him. But don’t refuse to barter and inform us the wall is an “immorality” — as a result of their voting historical past reveals they don’t imagine that.