I’m reading a lot of discussion about who “won” and who “lost” the government shutdown.
Spoiler alert, we all lost.
The arguments for both sides are, of course, compelling. The reality is that the House knowingly passed a bill that would not get past the Senate. With no support of the House Democrats, there was no chance of getting to 60 with the help of Senate Democrats. As it turns out, they did not even get to 50 with Senate Republicans.
So, the obvious thing happened. The votes were not there. 3 days later, the same deal in general terms passed with a bipartisan majority of 81. The terms were simple. Republicans promised to actually allow DACA (supported by 70% of Americans*) to, in some form, come to the floor, and Democrats agreed to trust the Republicans to do so. Trust being a somewhat dear commodity, the verification coming in 3 weeks when we get to do this all over again.
So, if there are any winners, it’s the families who rely on CHIP. For the next 6 years, the program won’t be held hostage to the budget. That’s fantastic, and I’ll toast that rarified security tonight.
As for DACA, it literally took the government shutting down before Mitch McConnell would agree to bring a popular program with bipartisan appeal, a program that the President has asked congress to decide on, to a vote.
The shutdown is a failure of governance. The ostensive reasons for the shutdown had bipartisan support. The shutdown was not a failure of politicians willing to work together (keep in mind this deal had largely been struck last week), it’s a failure of political leadership being unwilling to be seen working with the other.
Tonight is full of pendants talking about who wins. All this does is embolden another worthless and needless show down in 3 weeks. When people think they can win things that used to be unthinkable, well… we all lose.