Arthur Christopher Schaper
US Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse have neglected to notice Democratic caucus’ significantly diminished status.
Despite the Election 2014 shellacknado, Whitehouse still preaches about climate change. Reed pushes against the better interests of this country. Now they are blocking debate on funding the Department of Homeland Security. If nothing passes the US Senate, the Democrats are the partisan minority holding “crucial” funding hostage.
On Fox News Sunday this past week (February 15, 2015), House Speaker John Boehner was crystal clear about where the blame would lie:
"Why don't you go ask the Senate Democrats when they are going to get off their ass and do something”
What is the situation which built up to another budget showdown with the Democrats and the White House? What were Reed and Whitehouse’s position on the legislation then?
The 2014 CRomnibus bill, both a Continuing Resolution as well as last-minute Omnibus package, included extended funding until September 2015 for all major departments expect for the Department of Homeland Security, which would be funded until February of this year.
Conservatives were puzzled. Why not do piecemeal funding for everything?
I had spoken with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) staff about this plan. They informed me that while a government shut-down would be emotionally satisfying for the conservatives and Republican base, it would not correct the long-term problems of a rogue President, but worse yet would cast the Republicans as the anti-government obstructionists.
The House Majority did muscle together barely enough votes to push the bill through to the US Senate. For the first time in his career, President Obama was begging his fellow Democrats to go along with the Republican agenda. That outcome was a step in the right direction. As for the US Senate, Senators Reed and Whitehouse voted against the CRomnibus bill, thus casting themselves as the irresponsible obstructionists. What if the funding bill failed?
They probably never considered that outcome. For decades, Democrats have not had to ask themselves: “How will the press perceive this vote?” The Republican Party has borne the brunt of a negative media, and the government shutdowns in 1995, 1996, and 2013 confirmed the automatic crouch of the press: “Blame the GOP!”
Of course the record on Republican political consequences have suggested that government shut-downs do not necessarily hurt them in the long run. In Election Year 1996, Republicans actually gained a net two US Senate seats. In 2014, Republicans swept out five US Senate Democratic incumbents, while also increasing house numbers buy double-digits.
Besides, the anti-conservative Big Media is taking big hits these days, no longer having the final say on who wins and loses in Washington DC. Liberal pundits treated President Ronald Reagan like an “amiable dunce”. George Herbert Walker Bush got slammed because he did not know the price of milk. Buysh George W. Bush was routinely pilloried for his speech flubs and missteps, even though in policy issues he was a straight arrow, and his former Democratic inumbert challenger Ann Richard concede that Bush (who would replace her 1994) was an excellent debater.
Today, Big Media is losing big time, trying to explain the serial falsehoods of news anchors (Brian Williams) or force off race-baiting reporters (Martin Bashir), or spin the low ratings of retiring newscasters (Jon Stewart). Even the Providence Journal looks like a sophomoric rag.
Which brings us back to Senators Reed, Whitehouse, and the battle of Department of Homeland Security funding.
Despite media and Democratic pretensions, the House DHS funding bill does not restricting funding to any agency. Its riders merely mandate that not one dollar of taxpayer dollars can fund President Obama’s unconstitutional executive amnesty. So much for DHS chief Jeh Johnson’s false assertion.
Still, WPRI reports:
Rhode Island’s senators called on Congress on Friday to fully fund the U.S. Department of Homeland Security because emergency officials in the state are relying on the funding.
As written above, the legislation already fully funds the department.
Democratic U.S. Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse say the department is at risk of a partial shutdown when it runs out of money at the end of the month. They said they’re disappointed some Republicans are engaging in a partisan battle and holding the funds hostage to protest the administration’s immigration policies.
Republicans are holding nothing hostage. Democrats have refused any debate or amendments on the legislation. The Senate Clerk’s office could not make it any clearer.
Reed said RIEMA’s operations would continue, but would become gradually less effective.
Why? Because they aren’t getting paid?
They said a funding lapse could significantly delay grants first responders rely on for equipment, and make it harder for Rhode Island to be reimbursed with federal funds for the cost of digging out from recent snowstorms.
A delay in grant funding will not threaten Rhode Island residents. Why do Ocean State cities beg Washington for money? The Democratically-controlled statehouse on Smith Hill raises taxes and fees, yet runs annual multi-million dollar deficits. Providence lawmakers should balance their budgets and fund municipal grants.
Transportation Security Administration agents would report to work at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick, Rhode Island, but they wouldn’t be paid, Reed added.
They will be paid, if Reed, Whitehouse, and his Democratic cohorts stop blocking the funding.
For the record, a partial DHS shutdown mode will not jeopardize national security. AP reports:
That's because most department employees fall into exempted categories of workers who stay on the job in a shutdown because they perform work considered necessary to protect human life and property. Airport security checkpoints would remain staffed, the Secret Service would continue to protect the president and other dignitaries, the Coast Guard would stay on patrol, immigration agents would still be on the job.
Democrats have lost two major elections, statehouses across the country, and now their one-time ally Big Media can no longer carry their false narrative.
If DHS does shut down, blame Reed and Whitehouse, who sat on their asses spinning the situation instead of doing something about it.
Arthur Christopher Schaper is a writer, blogger, and political commentator on topics both timeless and timely; political, cultural, and eternal. A life-long Southern California resident, Arthur currently lives in Torrance.
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