House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., called out Senate Democrats to "stop holding children's health insurance hostage" in this "reckless shutdown" for a "shakedown strategy" to get themselves a favorable immigration deal.
"We do so many crazy things in Washington, but this is utter madness," Speaker Ryan said on the House floor. "Here is the simple truth: Senate Democrats refuse to fund the government unless we agree to their demands on something entirely unrelated. They want a deal on immigration – and then they'll think about reopening the government.
"It is a shakedown strategy that Senate Democrats have been talked into by their base."
The Senate, needing 60 votes to pass a Continuing Resolution to fund the government, failed in a 50-49 vote early Saturday morning. Just five red-state Democrats voted for the C.R. – four Republicans opposed.
"Senate Democrats need to open this government back up," Speaker Ryan concluded. "Stop holding children's health insurance hostage. End this reckless shutdown that is inflicting needless uncertainty on our country. Let common sense and cooler heads prevail. Come to your senses. Do the right thing. Open this government back up."
Ryan's speech ripped Senate Democrats for obstructing the passage of the C.R. "appeasing their political base."
"There is no reason for the shutdown," Ryan added. "We have been and we continue to be working together in good faith in immigration. That deadline, that deadline is weeks away. There is no good reason for Senate Democrats to keep willfully forcing a shutdown on this country."
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