Thursday, January 24, 2019

Reign of Pain Update: Congress Voting to Extend Partial Shutdown

Well that was fast. Althouse at noon yesterday: Trump plans to walk right up into Nancy Pelosi's space — Will she smirk and block his way? then at 7 AM today, Trump won't do the SOTU anywhere other than in the House Chamber.
Trump tweets.
As the Shutdown was going on, Nancy Pelosi asked me to give the State of the Union Address. I agreed. She then changed her mind because of the Shutdown, suggesting a later date. This is her prerogative - I will do the Address when the Shutdown is over. I am not looking for an....
....alternative venue for the SOTU Address because there is no venue that can compete with the history, tradition and importance of the House Chamber. I look forward to giving a “great” State of the Union Address in the near future!
The NYT's Sheryl Gay Stolberg calls this "seeming capitulation":
The president’s seeming capitulation came even as House Democratic leaders said they were prepared to give him a substantial sum of money for border security — perhaps even the $5.7 billion he has requested — but not for a wall and not until he agreed to reopen the government. That figure is roughly double what Democrats had previously approved.
Is it "capitulation" or maintaining pressure?
As usual, most of the fun is in the comments.

Are there signs of a compromise? Ed Morrissey at Hot Air: Hoyer Retreating? Border Barriers Are Now “Part Of The Solution”Hot New Idea To End The Shutdown: A Path To Green Cards For 700,000 DREAMerCentrist Dems Preparing Letter To Pelosi Calling On Her To Give Trump A Vote On The Wall, Emerson Poll: Americans Want Better Border Enforcement By More Than 2:1.  Sounds like the basis of a compromise to me.

Wilbur Ross: Federal workers should take out loans until they get paid from CNBC.
“I know they are [going to homeless shelters] and I don’t really quite understand why because as I mentioned before, the obligations that they would undertake – say borrowing from a bank or credit union – are in effect federally guaranteed,” said Ross. “So the 30 days of pay that people will be out – there’s no real reason why they shouldn’t be able to get a loan against it and we’ve seen a number of ads from the financial institutions doing that.”
“When you think about it, these are basically government-guaranteed loans because the government has committed, these folks will get back pay once this whole thing gets settled down,” Ross said. “So there really is not a good excuse why there should be a liquidity crisis. Now true, the people might have to pay a little bit of interest but the idea that it’s paycheck or zero is not a really valid idea.”
Among all of the ways in which to discuss this issue, Ross chose the absolute worst. Why not embrace the pain the shutdown has caused and the issues it creates and push the responsibility onto Democrats? At least that would make Ross and the administration sound like it has some connection to the working class. Instead, Ross blithely suggests that workers take on the interest associated with short-term loans as though it would have no impact on their finances or their credit rating.
True, but what a hassle! Health insurance becomes collateral damage in the government shutdown as some workers face bills for medical costs. In a few cases:
Government employees are guaranteed coverage throughout shutdowns, but new hires or those who recently made changes to their plan could find themselves caught in the bureaucratic slowdown.

And if the gridlock persists, unpaid federal workers could be billed directly for their share of health-care costs, which are normally subtracted from their paychecks.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners released a statement explaining that the shutdown could result in financial hardships for some people and encouraging insurance companies "to exercise judicious efforts to assist these policyholders and work with them to make sure that their insurance policy does not lapse."

The situation is more dire still for federal contractors, some of whom are receiving notice already that their health insurance has expired or will do so within the next few weeks. There were some 4.1 million government contractors in 2017, according to Paul Light, a professor of public service at New York University.
I have sympathies for the federal contractors, who will never be made whole. Apparently, Nancy Pelosi doesn't care that much.

Senate pressing ahead on shutdown votes with dim prospects
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said the Democratic plan “seeks to be down the middle and reopen government and has received overwhelming support from both sides before President Trump said he wouldn’t do it.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., countered that the GOP proposal is “a compromise package the president will actually sign,” calling Schumer’s alternative a “dead-end proposal that stands no chance.”

It was hoped twin defeats Thursday might spur the two sides into a more serious effort to strike a compromise. Almost every proposal needs 60 votes to advance in the Senate, which is under 53-47 Republican control.

“It’s hard to imagine 60 votes developing for either one,” said Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo. GOP moderates such as Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine are expected to vote for the Democratic plan, as is Cory Gardner of Colorado, one of the few Republicans representing a state carried by Hillary Clinton in 2016.

West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin is thus far the only member of his party to signal he’ll cross over to support the GOP package.
The votes are underway as I write this, and still, no one expects either bill to get the required 50 votes. But as soon as the votes are done, both houses are adjourning for the weekend. It must be great!

NBC: Ocasio-Cortez is lone Democrat to vote against bill to reopen government because it funded ICE. Of course she is.

No comments:

Post a Comment