Senate Democrats have promised to filibuster the House-passed temporary spending bill unless it includes some form of amnesty for a large population of illegal aliens. The extreme left political position is likely to result in a government shutdown.
At the focus of the debate is Democrats demand that the spending bill include legal protections for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients – basically amnesty. The DACA program is unconstitutional and would fail the same legal test as Obama’s DAPA program which the liberal Fifth Circuit ruled against. The court said that presidential refusal to enforce immigration law “does not transform presence deemed unlawful by Congress into lawful presence and confer eligibility for otherwise unavailable benefits based on that change.”
“My Democratic colleagues’ demand on illegal immigration at the behest of their far-left base have crowded out all other important business,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday night. “I think the American people clearly would not expect us to act this way.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer dishonestly attempted to deflect blame for the shutdown on to Republicans.
“The leader is looking to deflect blame. But it just won’t work. We all know what the problem is. It’s complete disarray on the Republican side.”
With only 51 Republican senators, the GOP cannot overcome the 60-vote threshold necessary to override a Democrat filibuster making a government shutdown nearly inevitable. The filibuster will prevent the bill from even coming to the floor for a vote and only if nine Democrats decide that military members and government employees are more important than illegal aliens will the measure get a vote.
“The only people standing in the way of keeping the government open are Senate Democrats,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said. “Whether there is a government shutdown or not is entirely up to them.”
A small group of bipartisan Senators appears to back a shorter spending measure, perhaps only a few days, to allow them to negotiate a compromise. But, Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) said: “we’re not going to do that.”
The shutdown is an unnecessary tactic as DACA isn’t set to end until March, but Democrats hope to use funding for the military as a political negotiating chip in their fight for illegal immigrants.
McConnell is reportedly considering keeping the Senate in session over the weekend if the government shutdown occurs.