Skip to main content

tv   U.S. Senate Sens. Thune Menendez Wicker on Govt Shutdown  CSPAN  January 22, 2018 1:25am-2:10am EST

1:25 am
afternoon and this evening. i think those discussions have been productive. let's hope they're successful. let's hope we can resolve this thing tonight. let's hope we can have a vote to give the american people the certainty and predictability they're looking for. let's reopen government and let's get back to work. i hope all my colleagues will join me in doing that tonight. i yield back my call. mr. thune: i ask that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. thune: i ask that later this evening that we have a vote that allows us to open the government back up and recommence the negotiations on immigration and a whole range of other issues that are currently of concern to members here and i think of concern, fairly, to the american people. so i hope that we will have the 60 votes that are necessary to do that when we have that vote later today. in fact, what we'll be voting on
1:26 am
later today has been modified from what was originally sent over to the house, which was a four-week continuing resolution. this, i believe, will be a three-week continuing resolution, modified at the request of some democrats here in the senate. but i hope that we can get the government up and functioning again, mr. president. it is important in my view, that we do that. but there's been a lot of discussion throughout the course of the afternoon on the floor and in the previous days leading up to this about, you know, who is to blame and all of that sort of thing. i don't think the american people frankly care much, they just want to see their elected officials work together to get results. the one thing i will point out because a number of my colleagues on the democrat side have spoken earlier today and consistently said that this is president trump's fault somehow. i guess i would simply point out, mr. president, that the president of the united states doesn't appropriate a single
1:27 am
dime. that's not his authority under the constitution. that's the authority of the congress. that's our article 1 power. congress has the ability to appropriate funds. the president of the united states, just let me repeat, cannot appropriate a single dime. that's just not -- the idea that this is somehow the president's fault, i think, is completely missing the point and is simply an attempt to try and dodge responsibility. i think also i point out that as many as our colleagues have come down here today and tried to blame the president and tried to blame republicans, or whatever, i think the american people get this and it seems like the news media seems to get it. this is from the associated press. senate democrats derail bill to avert shutdown. senate democrats block passage of a stopgap spending bill to
1:28 am
keep the government open. bloomberg, senate democrats block g.o.p. funding plan as shutdown kicks in. those are just a few of the sort of coverage of this by the media. and so the point i would make, mr. president, is that i think it's not being lost on people outside this chamber what happens happening here. this is purely an attempt to hijack the united states senate over a debate on an issue which, frankly, doesn't have an urgent deadline. there's nothing that says that we have to have the issue of daca solved tomorrow or even the day after that. there's a deadline in march and there were good-faith negotiations underway between republicans and democrats in the house nn the senate -- house and in the senate to solve that issue, and it is an issue that needs to be resolved. there is great sympathy on both sides of the united states senate for how to deal with
1:29 am
those young people who were brought into this country here illegally through no fault of their own. the president has said he wants to see that issue resolved, which is why those discussions and negotiations were underway. the house of representatives, the senate, republicans, democrats, bicameral, bipartisan negotiations underway to address that issue. and so the other thing that was included in the funding resolution, of course, was an extension, a reauthorization of the children's health insurance program, which i think pretty much here supports. i mean there may be some who would vote against that, but i doubt it. i think it enjoys broad bipartisan support. it's a six-year extension, and that's something that we needed to get done as well. that's included in the funding resolution that the democrats are objecting to. one of the reasons for objecting as i listened this afternoon was, it should have been done last year.
1:30 am
yeah, okay. does that mean we can't vote for it now? we have a knicks in -- a fix in place, a solution in place, a six-year reauthorization of the chip program. i serve on the finance committee. when we reported it out, it was five years, so it has an additional year, six-year reauthorization of chip and all of a sudden democrats are saying, i don't know why we're voting on it now. we should have voted on it last year. when does it become too late in the game to solve a problem that needs to be solved? i think that notwithstanding their assertions this afternoon on the floor, mr. president, that somehow that ought to prevent us from moving forward with that legislation or give them an excuse to vote to shut down the government, that is beyond me. i find it incredibly hard to believe. so the other thing that was pointed out, and i guess this is -- you know, the democrats have said and they made this
1:31 am
about issue, which i get. it is an issue they are very passionate about. as i said before, there's passion on both sides about that issue and a real desire to find a solution, but i'm not sure you are in the best position to find that solution in the middle of a government shutdown. i want to point out what senator schumer, the democrat leader said back in 2013. this was on a sunday morning talk show, abc's "this week." he said, basically it is sort of like this, someone goes into your house, takes your wife and children hostage and then says, let's negotiate over the price of your house. we could do the same thing on immigration. we believe strongly on immigration reform. we could say we're shutting down the government, we're not going to raise the debt ceiling until you pass immigration reform. it would be governmental chaos.
1:32 am
it was governmental chaos in 2013, mr. president, according to then-senator schumer, now the democratic leader, governmental chaos to shut the government down or hold the government hostage to get another issue addressed. he made that same argument about immigration. he went on to say that there are democrats here, we can do the same thing on immigration. we believe -- at the time the shut down happened in 2013, it had to do with obamacare. and it was, in fact, the -- the rolls were reversed or flipped in that situation. it was the republicans, and, frankly, president obama at the time did a fairly effective job of pointing out, as i am pointing out right now, he can't appropriate money, that's the role of the congress. but the point is at the time the democratic leader thought it would create governmental chaos to shut the government down and it should not be done to try and
1:33 am
solve some other unrelated issue. and yet here we are two days into a government shutdown which could have been totally avoided. we had a vote a couple of nights ago, a bipartisan vote, i might add, to keep the government open. so what do we have so far? we have the house of representatives to send a resolution to fund the government, keep the government open and give us some additional time now to resolve some of these outstanding issues, including the daca issue. the president of the united states has expressed support for that funding resolution to keep the government open. he has made it very clear he wants the government to stay open. he also made it very clear he wants a solution on daca and is willing to engage in conversations and discussions about how to resolve that issue, and then we had a vote in the united states senate which was bipartisan, a bipartisan majority in the united states senate, a majority, bipartisan, five democrats joined republicans here in the senate on a resolution to keep the
1:34 am
government open and functioning and to keep it from shutting down. so we got bipartisan support in the senate for that, majority support, the house of representatives, the president all on record. the only thing right now that is preventing us from opening up the government and getting back to where we are discussing and debating those issues and to extending health insurance coverage to nine million children in this country, the only thing standing in the way of that is the senate democrats. and so i'm hopeful that this evening when that time comes to vote that we will have a sufficient number of democrats here in the senate that will join with republicans. we had a bipartisan majority, as i said, friday night on the vote, but we didn't have the 60-vote threshold that's necessary to keep the government from shutting down. now it's going to take 60 votes to open it back up. i'm hoping that there will be democrats that will find their
1:35 am
way and see that this does create, as senator schumer described, governmental chaos, a situation where it is difficult for people to see clearly and to have a fair, reasonable, thoughtful discussion about how to solve big issues like daca, a discussion which, as i pointed out, is already underway. so pretty clear what's going on here, mr. president. the media understands it. the american people, i think, understand it, and attempts by our colleagues on the other side to obfuscate it or dodge it or run away from it, or deflect it or create some other shiny object for people to look at isn't going to -- we will have another opportunity for senate democrats to go on the record and say, we're not going to shut this government down, we're not going to keep this government shut down, and we are going to move forward in a reasonable way
1:36 am
to deal with the issues that we think need to be dealt with on behalf of the american people, not in the middle of a crisis mode, or as i said as was described by senator p schumer -- senator schumer, in the middle of governmental chaos. mr. president, let's get on with that. let's have a vote and let's have a bipartisan 60-vote threshold that will allow us to get the government back open and get the negotiations back on track. i yield the floor. mr. menendez: mr. president. the senator from new jersey is recognized. mr. menendez: mr. president, here we are on a sunday evening with the government technically already shut down a year basically after president trump
1:37 am
said when we need is a good shutdown. i didn't say that. my colleagues, the democratic caucus, didn't say that. president trump said that, what we need is a good shutdown. so a year later, i would just simply say that republicans who control the house of representatives, the united states senate listened to president trump and they gave him a shutdown because of their unwillingness to compromise. now, there's no such thing as a good shutdown. i think we universally recognize that. now, i know my colleague who just spoke before me suggested that it's not the president who appropriates. that's true. he's very right. but what is true is that it's the president that's got to sign something, and when he doesn't
1:38 am
tell you what he's for, it's very difficult to figure out what you're going to send him that he'll sign. that's why i heard the majority leader in some interviews say, when we know what president trump is for, speaking about one topic, then we will figure out what we will send him. that is part of the problem. the president is intimately involved in this process and to suggest that he isn't goes even against his own views. now, how many short-term extensions -- that's what we're talking about here. people at home may hear continuing resolution. that's basically a short-term extension -- will republicans ask for before they sit down and do the homework that's necessary, the hard work, the tough decisions? this is government on life support lurching from one short-term continuation of money to another short-term continuation of money to another short-term of continuation of
1:39 am
money. and when i hear my colleagues speak, i guess they missed the fact that not one, not two, not three, but four republican senators also voted not to continue these short-term funding resolutions because they understand that we need to get the hard work of the nation done. so four republican senators joined with democrats to say enough is enough. that's a bipartisan view that enough is enough. so let's remember how we got here because if you understand how we got here, then maybe you can figure out how we move forward. funding for the federal government lapsed at the end of last -- last september. by october 1 we should have had
1:40 am
this in place. but instead of performing their basic responsibility to govern, my republican colleagues spent the fall of 2017 gorging on tax cuts for the wealthy. that's right. the republican majority in both houses of congress spent october, november, december on a joy ride of pure ecstasy showering giant corporations with trillion-dollar tax cut, lowering rates for wealthy c.e.o.'s and saddling working families with permanent tax increases. and now republicans are finally coming down off their hide and finally realizing they forgot to do the hard work of governing, of having the appropriations for the government on a long-term basis. but governing requires making tough decisions. it requires long-term planning.
1:41 am
it requires making compromises in service of the greater good. but instead of charting a real course forward for our military, for our veterans, for our health centers, for our disaster-stricken communities, i believe when we say this is the united states of america, that i vote for funding for states and communities far outside new jersey because we are all in this together. yet that hasn't been done here. and, yes, for dreamers as well. and yes for dreamers as well. no, what they keep asking for is a short-term extension after a short-term extension. if any school district, any city, any agency or business in america would run itself into ruin if it effectively tried two, three, or four-week
1:42 am
increments. this is not the first continuing resolution to keep the government open. it's not the second one. i voted for the first to because i said, you know, let's give them some time. it's not the third one. we're looking at the fourth one. and they have the ga lu l who accuse democrats who don't control the house, don't control the senate, don't control the white house of shutting down the government. i've been in congress a long time now and only in washington when one party has control of both chambers and the president of the united states and fails to do their jobs can you subject that it's the minority party that is responsible. it just boggles the imagination. yes, there's a 60-vote requirement but if you know you don't have the 60 votes, including two republican senators who voted for us who
1:43 am
want to have a full funding of the government, then you come and you negotiate so that we can get to a point where we can have that full funding. but, no, you just want to stick on the floor whatever you want and jam it and then say either vote for this or you're going to be responsible for closing down the government. that is not democracy. the last time i checked, this is not cuba. this is the united states of america. the american people aren't stupid. they know it's no coincidence that the federal government has shut down after they spent a year watching in horror at this undisciplined, dysfunctional white house tarnishing the image of the united states globally. they know as harry truman once said that the buck stops with the president. and they know the buck stops with president trump today. as a matter of fact, it was president trump as a private citizen when he was comentszing about the last -- commenting about the last time the government had this challenge, that it was president obama who
1:44 am
was responsible, that he was the leader, that he should have brought everybody into the oval office, constituent them down, -- sit them down, work it out. where is he? he's been hiding. he certainly hasn't called everybody in to work it out. now in the face of this entirely predictable situation, the majority is presenting us with another shorm-term sham -- short-term sham of kicking the ball down the road so they can kick the can even further down the road and refuse to make a real commitment to america's military, america's health centers, america's disaster-stricken communities, america's children, and, yes, america's dreamers. you know, i can't believe that they would accuse democrats of playing politics with health care for nine million children when back in september, september of last year, the senate finance committee passed unanimously my bipartisan bill with chairman hatch and ranking member brown to fully fund the children's health insurance program for five years.
1:45 am
now, there are those of us who wanted a much longer extension. there are clear studies that say that if we reauthorize the children's health insurance program for a decade, we could save tens of millions of dollars in doing so. but we went with a five-year. but children's health insurance program, that's exactly what chip is all become it's children's health insurance program. it doesn't stand for a bargaining chip. but that's exactly what republicans have used it ever since its funding lapse last september. we could have chip passed last september, but, no, we were too busy doing tax cuts, too busy doing tax cuts. no budget, no appropriations, no children's health insurance. so to my colleagues in the -- do my colleagues in the majority realize how transparent they've made their motives?
1:46 am
they didn't want to give the children's health insurance program an up-or-down vote on the floor because they wanted to save it as a bargaining chip to get democratic votes for another short-term sham. now, keep in mind this short-term continuing resolution neglects other major priority, like disaster relief for puerto rico and florida and texas and california. i keep hearing leader mcconnell talk about reopening the government to serve all americans, but this short-term c.r. doesn't do squat for the 3.5 million american citizens living in puerto rico who are crying out for help. none of us would have accepted what they are in the midst of, many still without light, still without electricity months after. nor does this short-term sham roy any long-term certainty for the pentagon, for the nation's
1:47 am
defense, which needs to be able to commit to contracts and purchase the equipment our men and women in uniform depend on to protect this country from those who would do us harm. our military leaders agree we cannot protect the nation on a week-to-week or month-to-month basis. it's insane. so let's reopen the government right now with a short-term continuing resolution that keeps everyone here in washington, the president, the leadership, both parties, both houses, and members to get the job done so we can actually do our jobs and hash out a plan to keep our armed forces fully funded and prepared for today's challenges. in fact, it was dana white, the spokesperson for the u.s. department of defense, who recently said and called these short-term c.r.'s, quote -- her quote, wasteful and destructive.
1:48 am
she went on to say, we need a fully funded fiscal 2018 budget or face -- or face ramifications on our military. that's the chief spokesman for the secretary of defense. i think it's worth pointing out that i voted against the ridiculous sequestration that republicans forced upon president obama back in 2011 after threatening to default on the full faith and credit of the united states, which has us in this predicament, the predicament that i constantly hear about our defense budget under this sword, this limitation was cited by something -- created by something republicans pushed to sequester fundin funds from goig beyond a certain cap. i voted against that because i knew arbitrary caps on government spending and military readiness would not do justice to this country or the priorit
1:49 am
priorities of the american people. yet some of my republican colleagues are demanding a repeal of sequestration only for our defense agencies, and i'm all in for a strong national defense but not at the expense of what makes this nation worthy of fighting for and dying for. like the life-saving research under way at national institutes of health that is seeking groundbreaking discoveries to cure the diseases that many of our families face, the alzheimer's that took my mother's life, the parkinson's of my neighbor, the challenges in cancer that so many of our families have, the protection provided by the centers for disease control and prevention, the education funding we provide to public schools throughout the country, the beautiful national parks that are the envy of the
1:50 am
world and the national treasure of the united states. congress has a responsibility to make smart investments in our people and our communities, like funding for our community health centers that so many hardworking people across the country depend on for access to care. i know that some of my far right republican colleagues are offended by the mere concept of publicly funded community centers. they don't see the critical value of these health centers offered to our communities, places where doctors and health providers serve every patient who walks through the door, regardless of whether or not she has private insurance or medicare, medicaid, or no coverage at all, all takers providing health care -- providing quality health care. that doesn't change the reality that our communities depend on these health centers and, therefore, they depend on us to provide the funding. that's not in this c.r. i'd also like to remind my republican colleagues and president trump to own up to the
1:51 am
rotten reality that they are all talk and no action on the opioid crisis that has claimed the lives of thousands of americans in recent years. they want to gut medicaid and they have even -- some, not all, but some even go so far as to blame medicaid -- blame medicaid for the opioid crisis as if that makes any sense. i invite my republican colleagues to come home to new jersey with me and meet some of the americans who credit medicaid with getting their lives back on track and addiction free. but again, whether we're talking about community health centers or the opioid crisis or the pensions of our workers, people who worked a lifetime, worked really hard and through no actions of their own find their pensions in jeopardy after having worked a lifetime. this doesn't do anything to help them in that regard.
1:52 am
that's one of the reasons we want a full funding of the government and to meet that challenge as well. instead of dealing with the challenges that face americans in their lives every day, whether they're wondering about the state of their pensions while trying to pay for their kids' soaring tuition bills, struggling to make ends meet with stagnant paychecks that have barely budged in decades, helping ailing parents who need long-term care, caring for their young children when their employers provide no family leave. i could go on and on. but the bottom line is none of these challenges get any attention from my republican colleagues here in the house and the senate in terms of this budget. i spent the first -- they spent the first half of 2017, last year, in a relentless effort to strip millions of americans of their health care coverage, relentless. relentless. and then when the american people spoke out and beat back republican efforts to repeal the
1:53 am
affordable care act, they gave up and they set their sights on corporate tax cuts. they let funding for the federal government lapse in september decided not to do anything about it. they had bigger fish to fry. borrowing trillions from china and padding the pockets of a bunch of corporate fat cats. that's where they spent their time and energy, tax cuts for the wealthiest 1 %. and guess what president trump's strategy is totract the american people from his party's fail you are a to govern? well, it's by fanning the flames of fear and bigotry. i was incredibly disappointed to see the ad released by the president's reelection campaign yesterday which accused democrats of sympathizing with violent criminals. i can't say that i'm surprised. the fact is that whenever president trump's own failures of leadership reflect negatively
1:54 am
on him, he responds in the same way -- more racism, more xenophobia, more white nationalism. well, i'm not here to politicize the grief that victims of violent crimes and their families have endured. and we shouldn't let ourselves fall into the same traps of fear and division that he seeks to fan. we should be having an honest and bipartisan conversation instead of that about how we protect the 800,000 dreamers lawfully living across this nation. because let's remember who created this crisis. it was president trump who shut down daca for no reason other than political retribution. it's up to congress to fix the problem. but republicans didn't let us fix it in october or november or december of last year. well, now it's nearly february. daca ends on march 4. so when i hear leader
1:55 am
mcconnell say, there's no rush, no urgency, it doesn't expire until march 4, well tell that to the 16,000 young people who lost their status already. tell that to the 122 dreamers who lose their status each and every day. tell that to the thousands of american children now living with the fear that their airports will be taken away -- their parents will be taken away. nearly 25% of daca recipients have started families of their own. is this the party of family values that refuses to keep -- to have action to keep families together? that's what i thought was a core element, keeping families together. we presented the president with a real bipartisan compromise that protects the 800,000 dreamers from deportation, embraces the call for more
1:56 am
merit-based immigration, gave billions of dollars to the president's border security priorities. hard choices. i don't like some of those, but i agreed to them. that's what the president asked for. but how can we strike a deal with someone who won't take yes for an answer, who continues to betray his own instincts in order to satisfy the most far right elements of his party? and how are we supposed to believe republicans who say they want to do right by america's dreamers when at every chance you have the opportunity to do something about it, you don't? likewise, how are we supposed to believe you are going to start treating your responsibility to govern seriously when you can't keep the government's lights on for more than a couple weeks at a time? republicans keep asking for short-term extensions. when they had months to chart a
1:57 am
real course forward for our domestic and defense spending priorities. instead, the majority spent all of their time trying to strip health care away and then saddling our grandchildren with debt and padding the pockets of the rich and powerful. make no mistake, democrats are willing to work across the aisle. i have on many occasions, on foreign policy, on the children's health insurance, that legislation as it passed the finance committee had seven republicans on it, and on many other things, including immigration. part of the gang of eight, four republicans, four democrats. part of the gang of six, three republicans, three democrats. we're ready to help our colleagues in the republican majority finally answer the hard questions and come up with solutions that fully fund the united states government. but what we don't want is yet another month in which the
1:58 am
congress perpetuates the mindlesmindless sequestration cs hampering our military. we don't want another month no which we fail to deliver to the opioid crisis. we don't want another month kicking a man on disaster relief that americans in california and texas andful and puerto rico deserve so much. we don't want another month without long-term commitments to our in uniform, our veterans, our health workers, our children. we don't want the trump shutdown. so let's reopen the government with a short c.r. that keeps everyone here in washington at the negotiating table working on a long-term bill that reflects the priorities of the american people. with that, mr. president, i yield the floor.
1:59 am
the presiding officer: the senator from mississippi. mr. wicker: mr. president, as we all know, our government is now in its second full day of a shutdown. public opinion is swinging against what is happening, and as that occurs, it has been interesting to me to see that the talking points have changed on the part of congressional democrats. we've just seen an example of that here on the senate floor. but let's first look at a few uncontested facts. our government has been operating since september 30 of last year under a series of continuing resolutions, c.r.'s. in other words, congress has passed a series of temporary funding bills instead ever enacting aopenings pros -- instead of enacting aopenings pros. there's plenty of blame to go
2:00 am
around. but it is generally considered better than allowing a funding lapse and the government to shut down. we heard about jennings and pentagon officials -- with each heard about jennings and pentagon officials decrying the practice of continuing resolutions. i can assure you, mr. president, and i can assure my colleagues that generals and defense officials like government shutdowns far less than temporary spending bills. so let's not say that we are taking the advice of our military leaders in shutting the government down. the last c.r. was adopted to run until midnight of january 19, this past friday night. and that's the date on which our democratic colleagues decided not to extend temporary funding for the entire federal government for one more month. the specific reason the democratic leadership gave for not agreeing to another c.r. was
2:01 am
the daca program, deferred action for childhood arrivals, a program designed to protect those young immigrants brought to america illegally through no fault of their own. president obama implemented this program through executive order, and president trump, believing that it was better to handle this issue through legislation, decided to end the program in march of this year. and in ending the daca executive order, president trump has called on congress to formulate a legislative statutory fix for daca recipients. we should bear in mind that republicans and democrats have been working 0en a daca solution and continue to work on a daca solution, and we'll continue to do so. there are other important immigration issues i believe that should be attached to the daca issue, including the funding of a border wall and the
2:02 am
replacement for chain migration. chain migration, as we know, is the practice of allowing immigration lottery persons to bring if a host of relatives to the united states. the good news in this regard is that negotiators have until march to reach a deal on daca. it is also a fact -- it is a fact that this government shu shutdown is happening because an overwhelming majority of senate democrats voted no on a cloture motion to bring a new funding bill to a vote. now, cloture votes take 60 votes, and my democratic friends can say it until they're blue in the face -- the republicans are in charge of the entire government, that we're in charge of the senate, in charge of the house and the presidency, but that does not get away from the fact it takes bipartisan support to end a filibuster.
2:03 am
it takes 60 votes. in takes democrats and republicans in this senate to move to cloture on a new funding bill. and it is simply a fact that a majority of democrats won'ted no, and that's why we're in a shutdown. the most recent c.r. would have run until mid-february and the daca program, this program for childhood arrivals, is not set to expire until march. so how does it make any sense to shut down the government over a program that will last longer than the temporary funding bill? it doesn't. and yet that is exactly what our democratic friends decided to do. to shut down the government on an immigration issue. here is a front page of friday's "new york times" -- not exactly known as a great friend to the
2:04 am
republican party. it says, mr. president, "senate showdown looms as spending bill advances." this is the morning before the evening when our democratic friends refused to fund the government. house approves a non--- house approves a stopgap measure while democrats dig in on immigration. it was an immigration issue thatted the democrats to dig in, according to "the new york times" "the washington post" reports the same. shutdown looms despite house action, and the subhead said, democrats tied dreamers -- another way to say the daca recipients. the democrats tied dreamers to passage of a budget deal. again, the headline by not exactly the strongest republican paper in the country, "the washington post." so i find it interesting,
2:05 am
mr. president, to hear democrats now talking about other reasons for their votes to shut down the federal government, reasons unrelated to the immigration issue, which was their real reason. we've seen it on the senate floor tonight. we saw it yesterday on the senate floor, a colloquy of distinguished democratic senators talked extensively about the schip program for children's health, as having been somehow inadequately treated in the c.r. they helped to defeat. my colleague from south dakota pointed out just a few moments ago that in fact the -- that the continuing resolution provided for a six-year extension of the schip program for these 9 million americans. and yet somehow that became a reason -- it was a reason listed by my good friend from new
2:06 am
jersey just a moment ago. i tuned into house proceedings yesterday and heard democrats there going on at length about community health centers a sudden. and then about flood and hurricane relief. we've heard on the floor tonight that a good reason to vote against the c.r. was that we just done it too many times. three times is okay. four times is just too many. of course, they propose yet another fourth c.r. -- it's only a c.r. that they would prefer to vote for. we hear them talk about tax cuts for the wealthy. the national institutes of health, opioids. this congress has done marvelous work for this pressing opioid program. medicaid has been mentioned -- medicaid, mr. president, is a mandatory program, has nothing whatsoever to do with the
2:07 am
year-to-year appropriations bills. we just heard every reason in the world other than the reason that the national press has pointed out. this is an immigration dispute that doesn't even ripen until march, and our friends have refused to give us 60 votes to bring that to a close o i wonder why that is. could it that be our democratic friends are beginning to realize that shutting down the government over an immigration dispute is not turning out to be a winner for them? it may be that they've read the most recent cnn poll. that poll showed 56% of americans saying that approving a budget to avoid a shutdown is more important than continuing the daca program. let me repeat that. 56% of americans said approve a budget, avoid a shutdown.
2:08 am
only 34% chose daca over a shutdown. maybe that poll and other indications of public disapproval have caused those who voted for the shutdown to modify their reasons. i hope it causes 60 of us later on tonight to say yes to a solution that will get the government back open. i say to my democratic colleagues, it might have been nice or even desirable to include a daca bill in the most recent c.r. proposal, but there's still at least a month and a half to resolve that issue. we have time to tend to the daca issue, and we don't need to shut down the government over that issue. what the people cannot understand is how it makes sense
2:09 am
to force a shutdown over an issue that is completely unrelated to the temporary spending bill. my democratic friends now seem to be searching for a fig leaf of a solution so that they can relent and allow the federal government to reopen and to function. i hope they find that reason. maybe a three-week c.r. is that vehicle. if a solution is agreed to, it will take about that long to actually write the legislation, but something needs to give, mr. president. and it needs to give tonight. the american people need this shutdown to end. our adversaries around the world need to see that we can get our act together, and our military, our security personnel and a


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on