Shutdown Steve Daines Strikes Again?

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The first year of Trump’s Presidency has made one fact abundantly clear: Republicans can’t govern, they don’t care to govern.

Discussions this week in the nation’s Capitol have been surrounded by the possible government shutdown by the Republican Congress and White House because they cannot find an agreement on a long-term budget deal.

You read that right, the Republican-controlled Congress and White House can’t seem to find the votes to pass a Republican budget. This incompetence is mind-boggling.

Republicans would like a short-term stopgap bill to keep the government open and kick the can down the road so they can keep fighting shutdowns every six months and prolong a constant state of crisis with their endless continuing resolutions, but the problem is that this short-term measure is not supported by the Tea Party Freedom Caucus.

Led by Steve Daines these extremists want severe long-term budget cuts to vital programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, SNAP, the Affordable Care Act.

Republicans don’t have the votes for either a short term or long term deal unless Democrats provide some crucial votes to keep the government functioning.

A vast majority of Americans stand with Democrats in demanding that CHIP be fully reauthorized for 5 years, community health centers and rural hospitals fully funded, ACA cost-sharing subsidies restored, and a fix to the DACA program that Trump ripped up.

Congressional Democrats want to protect kids and rural healthcare, bring insurance costs down after a year-long Republican sabotage, and to prevent the deportation of immigrants that came to the U.S. as children. 

If not, Republicans can just pass their own budget bill, they are the majority in Congress.

Senator Daines recently said, “I think it’s ridiculous that the threat of a shutdown looms over our country today.” But that is not the same tune he was singing back in 2013 when he led the way towards that government shutdown.

In 2013, Senator Daines voted for the “Paul Ryan Budget” which cut $4.6 trillion in spending (compared to the $1.5 trillion in spending Daines just voted for), repealed the ACA, and turned Medicare into a voucher system all while cutting taxes for the wealthy like himself. This budget was rejected by the Senate and thus the Steve Daines shutdown ensued, costing Montanans millions of dollars in revenue to our two National Parks that were shut down.

Is taking healthcare away from Montanans in order to give tax breaks to the wealthy a more noble goal than saving healthcare for children and preventing the deportation of almost a million hardworking DACA recipients?

The truth is, Daines could care less either way. Shutdown or no shutdown, he and the Tea Party don’t want the government to function. He doesn’t want to do the job Montanans elected him to do, he wants to get his while he can. Daines wants to cut his own taxes, kick you off your healthcare, and do the bidding of corporations.

Government shutdown: Great, the government is unable to function so now we can now cut more programs and blame the Democrats.

No government shutdown: Cool, let’s kick the can down the road, rack up spending, and blame the Democrats.

See, Daines and the Republicans don’t want to govern, they want to raid the treasury for their own benefit and for the benefit of corporate interests. Shutdown or no shutdown this Friday, it sure won’t be the last time Senator Daines holds America hostage for his shutdown dreams.

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