Who Bears the Blame for a Government Shutdown?

Who Bears the Blame for a Government Shutdown?


What Republicans Say: House Republicans did their job and passed a four-week spending bill. Democrats are opposing it even though they support what’s in it, including funding for the military and a six-year reauthorization of the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program. The Democrats are turning their backs on kids’ health care and instead going to the mat for illegal immigrants, even though the deadline for a deal on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is weeks away and negotiators were working toward an agreement. This is a manufactured crisis. Call it the “Schumer Shutdown.”

What Democrats Say: Republicans control the House, the Senate and the White House. If they want Democratic votes top help keep the government open, the spending bill should be negotiated to reflect some Democratic priorities. On immigration, President Trump said he’d accept whatever deal lawmakers reached, but then shot down a bipartisan proposal. Since then, it’s been impossible to determine what the president wants — even Mitch McConnell said so. Congress can’t simply keep kicking the can on its basic responsibilities and issues that affect so many people’s lives.

What the Public Says: A new Washington Post-ABC News poll conducted Monday to Thursday finds that 48 percent of Americans would blame a shutdown on President Trump and Republicans, while 28 percent would say Democrats are mainly responsible. Independents account for that gap, as they primarily blame Republicans by a margin of 46 percent to 25 percent. About one in seven Republicans polled also pin the blame on the GOP. However, a new CNN poll finds that, while the DACA program is popular among both Democrats and Republicans, 56 percent of Americans say avoiding a shutdown is more important.