CNN reports as Day 2 of the 2018 federal government shutdown gets underway with no signs of progress:
Day one of the government shutdown ended with recriminations between the parties deepening and no sign of progress towards ending the impasse.
The White House, Republican and Democratic leaders spent most of Saturday apportioning blame and flexing partisan muscles after the Democrats blocked a Senate bill to fund the government and the federal machine ran dry on cash at midnight on Friday…
Republicans are resolute: No talks on DACA, the expiring Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, until Democrats give them enough votes to reopen the government. Democrats, meanwhile, say they have to have an answer on extending protection to nearly 700,000 people brought to the US illegally as children who face deportation after early March.
Leading up to the shutdown of the federal government at midnight Friday, Republicans had offered Democrats a “choice”–between funding the Children’s Health Insurance Program and a solution for the approximately 700,000 undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children and soon face deportation. This choice was depicted in harsh, controversial terms by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in a social media graphic:
Democrats refused to go along with what they considered to be the false choice being offered, and the continuing resolution in the Senate failed–with only 45 Republicans voting yes, leaving Republicans with little credibility to blame the other side of the aisle.
But there’s something else worth mentioning here, and reporter Ernest Luning thankfully picked it up:
Time for @RepMikeCoffman to revive discharge petition on BRIDGE Act as #DACA leverage, if Speaker @PRyan’s September assurances turn out to be no longer valid? #copolitics https://t.co/4h4387ebfo https://t.co/SU3ybqS3Tv
— Ernest Lee Luning (@eluning) January 21, 2018
That comes in response to the latest report that House Republicans are “locked down” against consideration of a solution for immigrants formerly protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program while the government is shut down. Readers will recall that Rep. Mike Coffman affected much anger after President Trump announced his decision to rescind DACA, promising a rare “discharge resolution” against his own party leadership to force a vote on a bill with temporary protections.
And then, as readers know, Coffman quietly abandoned his discharge petition under the pretense of having received assurances from Speaker Paul Ryan that a DACA solution would be brought forward at some point in the near future. In an all-too familiar pattern, Coffman’s quiet abandonment of his previous stand came a couple news cycles after the laudatory headlines he got for “standing up to Trump,” and far fewer people know about the latter part because the press didn’t follow up with anything like the same vigor.
But today, with the federal government shut down, you would think Coffman’s moment has finally arrived. Wouldn’t you?
In 2013, I fought to end the shutdown and successfully passed legislation to exempt the men and women in the military & their families from its impact. What #Pelosi and #Schumer are doing today is just as wrong as what #TedCruz did back then. This is why America hates Washington.
— Rep. Mike Coffman (@RepMikeCoffman) January 20, 2018
And…you’d be wrong. Even though Democrats are making a stand over the very thing Coffman claimed to be ready to challenge Paul Ryan over with a discharge petition, Coffman appears to be 100% on the side of Republicans who tried to force Democrats to choose between CHIP and DACA, thus forcing the shutdown. Or as some more pointed observers have characterized it, choosing “between white kids and brown kids.”
Folks, how is this not a monumental contradiction? How can Coffman be ready to force a vote with Democratic support against his leadership’s wishes last fall, but now supports the GOP leadership’s cynical gaming of the very same issue today?
The contradictions flow fast and furious in politics these days, but this is egregious enough that Coffman really should not be allowed to get away with it. At a moment when an issue he professes to care about has brought the federal government to a standstill, Coffman just squandered a golden opportunity to prove his (new) words on immigration are more than platitudes.