Shoe's on the other foot on shutdown (Whipple)

Republican conservatives triggered a 2013 government shutdown in a last-ditch effort to block Obamacare. They were roundly castigated by Democrats and the media.

The shoe now appears to be on the other foot, with Democrats seeking to block the government's budget until the terms of a legislative replacement for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy are established to their satisfaction.

A recent editorial [1/20/18] linked the current shutdown to a supposedly unconscionable delay in reauthorizing the Children's Health[care] Insurance Program. However, a six-year reauthorization of CHIP was included in the continuing resolution that Senate Democrats blocked on January 19. As for the statement that "the program costs only $800 million," the
Kaiser Family Foundation indicates that [CHIP] costs some $15 billion per year.

The DACA/budget linkage seems blatantly opportunistic. Note that the government budget for fiscal year 2018 is nearly four months late at this point, whereas the DACA deadline won't roll around until March 5th.

Pontification about Congress being "utterly broken" and needing to "remember how to compromise" doesn't seem constructive. Politics is a messy process, and a reasoned assessment of comparative fault is needed. Let's hope the News Journal will rise to the challenge.

William Whipple III

Although the shutdown had ended by the time this letter was published, another "crisis" may develop when the new continuing resolution expires on February 8.
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