Tags: Government | Shutdown | Budget | Senate

Government Shutdown Threat Looms in Senate Over Budget

Image: Government Shutdown Threat Looms in Senate Over Budget
(AP)

By    |   Friday, 17 Mar 2017 08:40 AM

Republicans and Democrats are squaring off against each other over which side would be to blame if Congress cannot pass a budget before a government shutdown deadline in April, according to The Hill.

Republicans say Democrats must go along with their plans, while Democrats are saying that Republicans must take a hard look at parts of President Donald Trump's proposed budget.

Democrats are the minority party in the Senate, but they can block any spending bill by preventing the 60-vote threshold it must reach.

"I think this is going to be a wake-up call to a lot of people who supported Donald Trump, that his budget is betraying them and the commitments he made," said Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.

"If they put those poison pill amendments in and try to shove them down the American people's throats, of course, they might be responsible for shutting the government down," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said earlier in the week.

"I will oppose efforts to fulfill empty campaign promises at the expense of proven programs that are vital to law enforcement and national security," Sen. Dianne Feinstein said about the U.S.-Mexican border wall.

"It's time for Republicans to remember that Congress is an independent branch of the federal government that won't be bulled into these billion dollar boondoggles," Sen. Dick Durbin, the no. 2 Senate Democrat, said, according to The Hill.

Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate majority leader, has accused Democrats of opposing any Republican plan. However, 25 Democrats are up for reelection in 2018, and they are likely to face pressure to agree with Republicans in order to avoid a government shutdown.

Some Republicans also expressed dissatisfaction with the Trump budget, according to The New York Times.

"This is a good budget if you want to spend your time fighting small fires," former Republican Sen. Judd Gregg said.

"We can't finance a defense buildup entirely on the back of domestic, nondefense spending. It's not realistic and unfair," GOP Rep. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania said.

"Historically, presidential budgets do not fare well with Congress," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

This type of showdown has happened before. Four years ago, House Speaker Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee at the time, put forward a similar budget proposal, with increases to military spending and cuts to nondefense programs. The House went along with his plan, which failed, leading to fall 2013's government shutdown, according to an analysis in Politico. 

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Republicans and Democrats are squaring off against each other over which side would be to blame if Congress cannot pass a budget before a government shutdown deadline in April, according to The Hill.
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2017-40-17
Friday, 17 Mar 2017 08:40 AM
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