With no mandate and in a galling display of hypocrisy, Republicans have succeeded in placing Donald Trumpâ€™s extreme right-wing nominee, Neil Gorsuch, on the Supreme Court. Republicans had to overcome a Democratic filibuster to do it, thanks to CREDO members and all our allies in the progressive movement who led the charge.
Now, in a craven attempt to boost his plunging poll numbers and change the narrative of his dysfunctional administration, Trump has launched airstrikes beginning an illegal war in Syria. There is a risk that congressional Democrats will learn the completely wrong lesson from the filibuster fight, buy into Trumpâ€™s war and surrender to Republicans in the coming fight to avert a government shutdown.
If Republicans shut down the government trying to build a border wall, funnel billions more to the war profiteers or defund Planned Parenthood, it will backfire in a big way. We need to make sure Democrats stand strong and refuse to surrender.
Government funding is projected to run out on April 28, but Trump is demanding that any government funding bill cut $8 billion from the National Institutes of Health to pay for an ineffective border wall. Conservatives in the House are trying to use the bill to cut funding for womenâ€™s health provided by Planned Parenthood.1 Trump, his wall and cutting Planned Parenthood are deeply unpopular. There is no reason for Democrats to back down in fear â€“ but history shows that we will need to speak out to make sure they stand strong.
If the demise of Trumpcare proves anything, it is that factions within the Republican party can doom many of their worst ideas. With some right-wing hardliners refusing to support any government funding without punishing cuts, Republicans may well need Democratic votes in order to avoid a shutdown. Democrats have all the leverage so long as they stay united in their insistence on a clean funding bill with no cuts and refuse to back down.
To make matters worse, Congress will soon need to raise the debt ceiling again. Our representatives need to continually raise this artificial limit on government borrowing in order to allow the administration to pay for Congressâ€™ own spending decisions. The administration is taking measures to avoid default after the current debt ceiling expired in mid-March. But that wonâ€™t last long â€“ and Republicans are salivating at the possibility of using national default as a bargaining chip once more.2
Under President Obama, Republicans tried to use must-pass budget bills to push priorities they knew he would veto. Now, even though they control both houses of Congress and the presidency, they want to use must-pass bills in order to overcome factions within their own ranks. More importantly, they think Americans will accept deeply unpopular ideas like a border wall or cutting womenâ€™s health if they are part of a deal to keep the government open.
Spending decisions should be made through the normal course of congressional business â€“ not by risking shutdown or default. We need Democrats to stand firm and united against Republican shutdown threats.
Tell Democrats: Hold the line against Republican shutdown threats. Click below to sign the petition:
Thank you for speaking out,
Murshed Zaheed, Political Director
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- Jennifer Steinhauer, â€ś,â€ť The New York Times, March 28, 2017.
- Peter Kasperowicz, â€ś,â€ť Washington Examiner, April 3, 2017.