The recent federal-government shutdown lasted no more than a three-day weekend. But the blame game will endure. Was this the Trump Shutdown or the Schumer Shutdown?
If President Donald J. Trump had vetoed a last-minute spending bill, thus denying the U.S. government operational cash, this would have been the Trump Shutdown. However, no such funding legislation ever reached the Oval Office. Trump could not have vetoed a measure that never landed on his desk.
Instead, all of the decisions that triggered the shutdown happened on Capitol Hill, where Democrats voted overwhelmingly to close the federal government. Republicans voted in equally overwhelming numbers to keep the government open.
On Thursday at 7:36 p.m., the House voted on H.R. 195, to keep the government open for four weeks. This measure passed the Republican-led body 230 to 197. Of the 235 Republicans who participated, 224 voted yea, to keep the government in business. Eleven Republicans voted nay. Among 192 Democrats, there were 186 nays and 6 yeas. So, 97 percent of House Democrats voted to padlock the federal government, but only 5 percent of Republicans concurred.
After clearing the GOP House, H.R. 195 proceeded to the Senate. On Friday at 10:14 p.m., the Senate voted to end a Democratic filibuster and move on to a final decision. Sixty votes were required for approval.
Forty-five of 49 Senate Democrats (92 percent) voted against cloture and, thus, to shutter the government. Meanwhile, four out of 50 Senate Republicans (8 percent) also voted to close the government. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R - Kentucky) voted that way, too, but only so that he later could introduce a motion to reconsider. I excluded his vote from this calculation.
To recap, 97 percent of House Democrats and 92 percent of Senate Democrats voted to close the federal government, stop paying American troops, block money to the U.S. Border Patrol, and deny medical care to some 9 million young Americans enrolled in the Children’s Health Insurance Program. The House Republicans’ wide majority overwhelmed Democrats’ votes. But Senate Republicans’ wafer-thin majority, and the 60-vote approval threshold, empowered Democrats to sandbag this measure and — as they desired — shut down the federal government.
So, yes: Senate Democrats triggered the Schumer Shutdown. The president did not force them to vote this way. Senate Democrats are many things, but they are not Donald J. Trump's puppets.
Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor with National Review Online. He has been a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University. Read more opinions from Deroy Murdock — Click Here Now.
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