Saturday, April 8

Washington Post: Democrats have a new POWER: They can shut down the govt and we'll blame the Republicans for it!

Unless you're a political junkie you may not have heard that the federal government's spending authority will expire April 28th, unless congress votes to raise the statutory limit on the amount the government can borrow.

If congress doesn't manage to do that, the world ends.  At least that's what Democrats claim.

But according to the lying rag the Washington Post, congressional Democrats have a new source of amazing power: In fact the headline is

Democrats have a new and surprising weapon on Capitol Hill: power

And the power is--drum roll--the power to force Republicans to compromise with Dems to keep funding of programs Dems favor, and block funding of programs Trump and the Repubs favor.

Isn't that marvelous?

Here you probably thought that having majorities in both chambers of congress, and the White House, Democrats couldn't force Repubs to do much of anything.  But the Post has found a secret weapon:  the ability to shut down the government and blame it on the Republicans.

Seriously, that's the great power of the breathless Post article.
It's funny: When the Republicans shut down the government the lying media screams that the Repubs are "obstructionists" or "hostage takers."  But when the Post and Chuckie Schumer and Nancy Pelosi openly chortle about this, suddenly the media has nothing but good things to say--about the Dems.

Seriously.  Here's the core of the article:
Democrats in Congress have a new and surprising tool at their disposal in the era of one-party Republican rule in President Trump’s Washington: power.

It turns out that Republicans need the minority party to help them avoid a government shutdown at the end of April, when the current spending deal to fund the government expires. And Democrats have decided, for now at least, that they will use their leverage to reassert themselves and ensure the continued funding of their top priorities — by negotiating with Republicans.

“I think we have a lot of leverage here,” said Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.). Republicans “are going to need our help putting together the budget, and that help means we can avoid some of the outrageous Trump proposals and advance some of our own proposals.”

The fact that Republicans need Democrats to vote for a temporary spending measure to avoid a shutdown gives Democrats leverage to force the GOP to abandon plans to attack funding for environmental programs and Planned Parenthood. And it also allows Democrats to block Trump’s top priority — the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border — which the president seeks to factor in to this latest round of budget negotiations.

It comes at a time when Republicans on Capitol Hill are badly divided and President Trump’s ambitious agenda — a health-care overhaul, his 2018 budget blueprint, a tax proposal and an infrastructure program — has yet to get off the ground.

Since the failure of the House GOP’s health-care plan [which no Democrats supported, naturally], Trump has signaled he may work with Democrats to achieve major goals. Coupled with the negotiations over the spending measure, such a statement could foreshadow a major and unexpected power shift in Washington in which the minority party has far more influence in upcoming legislative fights than was initially expected.

“I think most of our caucus wants to work with them,” said minority leader Schumer, referring to the GOP. “But it requires working in a compromise way.” 
Schumer means he believes the Republicans should be willing to compromise and give Dems what they want.
Hill Democrats are betting voters will view any attempt to compromise on spending as further evidence that the fractured GOP is unable to govern. If the talks fail and a shutdown approaches, voters might then blame Republicans for failing to keep the government open despite their control of the House, Senate and White House, several Democratic aides reasoned.
Let's review: If Republicans don't support Dem programs, Dems won't vote to raise the debt ceiling.  "Non-essential government employees get a vacation, Obama shuts down national parks and sets up barricades to bar veterans from entering the WW2 memorial on the DC mall, and...oh wait, that piece of crap is out of office.  Maybe Trump will do the same thing as Obama did?  Oh, absolutely.  Cuz Obama was so...brilliant.  He understood the country so...nah, all he understood was how to threaten political opponents.

Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other Democrats think voters see Democrats taking steps to defend existing policies — such as battling the American Health Care Act or blocking funding for a border wall — and understand the big picture.

Without Democratic help, Republicans are unlikely to unite behind a temporary spending plan to keep the government open past April 28.

Democrats have already flexed their muscle by refusing to support the funding of Trump’s border wall as part of the temporary measure. They also rejected a proposal by the Trump administration to include in that measure a $30 billion spike in defense spending and $18 billion in cuts to domestic programs.

Didja get that?  Trump's proposal will "potentially force shutdown showdown."  Even though the showdown arises from the refusal of Democrats to support raising the spending limit!  The Post wants you to believe the Dems can refuse to support the measure, yet not get any blame for a shutdown.  And the Post is confident they can make you believe it.
But that doesn’t mean Democrats won’t support some minor compromise on defense spending and border security. “We would not be opposed to any border security measures that are not the wall — increasing technology,” Pelosi said.

Schumer was similarly supportive. “If they asked for $200 million for more electronic surveillance and drones on the border, I don’t think that would [be a problem for us],” he said.

Republican leaders appeared in recent days to be open to that kind of compromise. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said leaving defense spending increases and money for the border wall out of the short-term spending negotiations wouldn’t be a dealbreaking problem.

Fallout from the very public battle over Gorsuch could play a critical role in whether spending talks stay on track. Democrats privately fear Trump will grow angry over the spectacle and demand funding for the wall, aides said.

There is also a chance GOP members and Trump will cool off during a two-week Easter recess just before a final spending deal is expected. Members of the Appropriations Committee hope to spend that time negotiating roughly 200 remaining issues, including Republican attempts to roll back some Obama-era financial regulations.

Clashes over similarly tacked-on provisions, typically known as “riders,” have for years prevented Congress from completing the regular appropriations process. Democrats have uniformly rejected Republican attempts to attach to spending bills riders that attack Planned Parenthood, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street regulation legislation.

“We want legislation that meets the needs of the American people and does not have the poisonous riders in it,” Pelosi said Thursday. “We have to see the substance of what is in the bill.”
This is the Pelosi who famously said of Obamacare, on live TV, "We have to pass the bill to see what's in it."  Seriously, she said that.  And at the time she was Speaker of the House.  Madness.

Democrats bet Republicans will be willing to ignore demands from their most conservative members, many of whom routinely vote against spending bills over objections to all government spending. They also are convinced Republicans are quickly growing tired of being bullied by Trump.

Schumer said Trump’s idea of compromise is to propose something and give Congress no chance for input.
Would that be like the Dems did with Obamacare, where Reid and Pelosi didn't allow a single Republican amendment?

That approach may work for now, but Democrats hope Republicans will eventually grow tired of Trump’s dictating their path and instead turn to Democrats to begin legislating.

Ah yes, the obligatory claim of Trump "dictating" to congress.  Uh-huh.  Would that be like Obozo did, telling congressional Republicans "I won.  Deal with it."  And "Elections have consequences."

The Post's writers and editors loved it when Obozo said it.  Now?  Oooh, how awful!  Or would be if Trump actually said either of those things.


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