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The #RandPaulShutdown is officially over. This wasn’t a Republican shutdown. It wasn’t a Democrat shutdown. It was just another example of Rand Paul proving yet again that he cares more about spending than he cares about the military. He’s a disgrace. He isn’t a patriot. He’s a principled idiot with bad judgment. First, it passed in the Senate:


Later, it passed the House:

Apparently, Rand Paul is intent on shutting down the government because he didn’t get to offer his amendments to a 700-page bill he says nobody has read. Sen. Paul is intent on hurting the military because his spokesperson, Sergio Gor, said “Senator Rand Paul is asking for is a 15-minute vote on his amendment to restore the budget caps.” Those caps will devastate the military.

This stunt by Sen. Paul will earn him the distinction of being more dovish than Amy Klobuchar. Check this out:

The massive budget deal, which includes a stopgap temporary measure to prevent a government shutdown, includes $300 billion for the military. The agreement also adds $89 billion in overdue disaster aid for hurricane-slammed Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, a politically charged increase in the government’s borrowing cap and a grab bag of health and tax provisions.

Sen. Paul will earn the distinction of having a hashtag named after him: #RandPaulShutdown

Rand Paul insists that he’s a constitutionalist. That’s odd considering he won’t vote to fund the military. How can you stop funding the military and still call yourself a constitutionalist?

Friday night, I wrote this post to highlight how Tina Smith and Amy Klobuchar voted against extending CHIP, voted against funding the military and the border patrol and didn’t give the military the pay raise it needs to defend us. At the time, I said that “Sen. Smith (and other Democrats) voted against funding CHIP, funding our military and funding other national security considerations. Tina Smith said that protecting 700,000 illegal immigrants was more important than providing health insurance to 9,000,000 vulnerable children or paying 2,000,000 troops serving worldwide.” I’ll stand by that statement.

What a difference a weekend makes. According to this NY Times article, Klobuchar and Smith voted this time to reopen the government. These weren’t principled votes. Sen. Klobuchar and Sen. Smith did what they were told.

The other thing that’s been exposed during this shutdown is that Democrats, Klobuchar and Smith included, didn’t put a high priority on properly funding the military. The chief function of the Senate is to fund the government. The highest responsibility in the list of funding responsibilities is funding the military. Sen. Klobuchar and Sen. Smith failed miserably on both counts.

Minnesota deserves better than this. Minnesota deserves senators that take their constitutional responsibilities seriously. Minnesotans don’t deserve a pair of senators that campaign, saying ‘vote for me, I’m a moderate’, then vote like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren one time, then vote like Joe Manchin another time. It wouldn’t be so bad if the legislation they voted with Elizabeth Warren on Friday was different than the legislation that they voted with Joe Manchin on Monday. The truth is that both pieces of legislation were virtually identical.

Stuart Varney got this exactly right:

Since Sen. Klobuchar and Sen. Smith voted with Sen. Schumer both times, they’re just as wrong as he is.

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It isn’t an overstatement to that that the government reopened when Sen. Schumer blinked. The final vote for cloture was 81 yeas, 18 nays. That’s the vote that ended debate and allows a final vote on the CR to fund the government. UPDATE: That bill has now passed the Senate. The House will soon vote on the bill. President Trump will likely be able to sign it late this afternoon.

Appearing on Outnumbered as today’s #OneLuckyGuy, Pete Hegseth put it best when he told the ladies of Outnumbered that “Schumer blinked.” That’s exactly what happened. Sen. Schumer essentially told his far-left immigration advocates that maintaining this fight was a loser for Democrats. He essentially talked the Democrats’ special interest groups off the ledge.

In exchange for caving, Sen. Schumer got promised that the Senate would vote on DACA and immigration-related issues within the next month. He didn’t get a promise that President Trump wouldn’t still push for ending chain migration and the visa lottery. President Trump will insist on those things being part of DACA-related legislation.

This is how the shutdown ended:

The Senate on Monday voted 81-18 to break a Democratic filibuster on a government spending bill, clearing the way for Congress to approve the stopgap measure and end the three-day government shutdown. Democrats effectively backed off their opposition, after being given assurances from majority Republicans.

Before the vote, Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer made clear that Senate Democrats would supply the GOP-controlled Senate with the votes needed, but only in exchange for “fair” and immediate efforts to consider legislation that would protect illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children.

Republicans, especially President Trump, now has the upper hand in these negotiations. What’s settled is that the vast majority of people want DACA recipients protected. What will get settled is that they want the wall built and chain migration ended ASAP.

Now that Democrats have separated DACA from the budget, they can’t ‘re-link’ those things again.

Another thing that’s got to get resolved is military spending. If Democrats are stubborn about that, they’ll lose that fight just like they lost the shutdown fight.

Americans should view the negotiations between the Trump administration and the Democrats like a hostage negotiation. After all, Sen. Schumer is holding the U.S. military, the border patrol and the CHIP program hostage. By filibustering the CR Friday night, Sen. Schumer and his shills have held hostage the paychecks for our military, border patrol and first responders. With their actions, Democrats have earned the wrath of patriots from across the political spectrum. In addition to holding these paychecks hostage, the Democrats’ filibuster has left 9,000,000 vulnerable children more vulnerable by not voting to reauthorize CHIP for the next 6 years.

If you add the 2,000,000+ people serving in the military to the 9,000,000 vulnerable children, that’s quite the hostage taking.

If Democrats think this isn’t firing up the GOP base, they’re kidding themselves. If Democrats think that their filibuster isn’t turning off independents, they’re kidding themselves. Ronna Romney-McDaniel, the chair of the RNC, said essentially the same thing in this op-ed:

Last night, Senate Democrats shut down the United States government. They recklessly chose to jeopardize paychecks for our troops and border patrolmen to appease their far-left base. In triggering a totally unnecessary, easily avoidable shutdown, they put at stake the health insurance of nine million vulnerable children and a number of other critical programs, including veteran services and opioid treatment programs.

Part of the Democrats’ talking points is to say that Republicans control the White House, the House and the Senate. it’s true that they control the White House and the House of Representatives. They don’t control the Senate.

Republicans did their job and offered a solution to keep the government running, but they couldn’t stop the shutdown from happening on their own. Appropriations bills require 60 Senate votes to pass. With only 51 Republican senators, this means Democratic votes are necessary to secure funding.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and his Democratic colleagues own this shutdown. The American people are very well aware that the Schumer shutdown rests squarely on his party’s shoulders. Their hypocrisy is on full display, as the same Democrats who once warned of the consequences of a shutdown eagerly embraced it this go around.

It’s worth noting that Republicans hold a majority in the Senate, which is useful in determining which bills get committee hearings. That simple majority is meaningless, though, when attempting to pass simple funding bills.

Democrats have used the filibuster to insist that President Trump sign a bill that includes amnesty for 700,000 illegal immigrants and millions of their relatives through chain migration. Fighting to protect illegal immigrants while not protecting vulnerable children is what despots do. The Democrats’ actions don’t rise to the level of what third-world dictators do but the Democrats’ actions are disgusting.

Many constituents of the Democrats rely on the government-funded programs that are being handicapped by the shutdown. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) put nearly 83,000 children’s health care at risk with her vote. Sen. Bob Casey (D-Penn.) did the same for more than 342,000 children, Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) for nearly 45,000 children, and Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) for 66,000 children. Their constituents are going to demand answers.

Good luck explaining that away.

Sen. Mitch McConnell took to the Senate floor last night:

This paragraph especially jumped out at me:

None of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle can point to a single thing in it that they oppose. That is why a bipartisan majority voted for it last night. It would have passed smoothly and been sent on for the president’s signature. Except that the Democratic Leader took the extraordinary step of filibustering this bipartisan bill and initiating his very own government shutdown.

If Democrats want to continue filibustering this funding bill, they have that right. Senate rules permit it. Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s smart, though. Democrats shouldn’t think that this isn’t turning off independents. Democrats shouldn’t think that this isn’t firing up the GOP base.

The Democrats’ foolish decision is doing both those things. Hell hath no fury like a bunch of voters who’ve gotten ignored by elitist Democrats who protect lawbreakers but don’t protect our troops and our most vulnerable.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Sen. Tina Smith disgraced Minnesota by not voting to extend the CHIP health care program for children. What’s disgraceful is that you wouldn’t know that happened if you read this article. All it talks about is Sen. Smith saying “We have so much that we can work together on and I think in a lot of ways this is a Trump shutdown because of the way that he has — when you are trying to come to an agreement with somebody, you need to feel that you can talk with them and you know where they are coming from and you can try to find common ground. And he’s just been kind of all over the place it makes it really, really hard to resolve, but we’re going to keep on trying.”

Negotiating means flexibility, which means not getting stuck in a single place and not moving. Sen. Smith staked out a position that’s indefensible. Sen. Smith voted against a CR that would’ve funded the CHIP health insurance program for the next 6 years. CHIP “provides health coverage to eligible children, through both Medicaid and separate CHIP programs. CHIP is administered by states, according to federal requirements. The program is funded jointly by states and the federal government.”

By voting against the CR, Sen. Smith (and other Democrats) voted against funding CHIP, funding our military and funding other national security considerations. Tina Smith said that protecting 700,000 illegal immigrants was more important than providing health insurance to 9,000,000 vulnerable children or paying 2,000,000 troops serving worldwide.

According to the article, “Smith says she is optimistic they will get this resolved and come to terms on a budget.” I’m confident that, eventually, a budget will get passed. The question is why Democrats like Tina Smith and Amy Klobuchar voted against funding the military, first responders and the CHIP health insurance program.

Minnesota’s DFL senators aren’t moderates. They’ve done whatever Sen. Schumer told them to do. They didn’t vote to do the right thing. They didn’t even vote for a bill that didn’t contain a single thing that they objected to. They voted against a bill that they agreed with 100%. These DFL senators are partisans who voted against vulnerable Minnesota children’s interests.

How despicable is that? About as despicable as saying that the White House and Senate Democrats were close to an agreement last night:

Sen. Schumer wasn’t close to a deal with President Trump last night. That’s because Sen. Schumer isn’t allowed to agree with President Trump on ending chain migration or the visa lottery. If Sen. Schumer agreed to either of those things, the immigration special interest activists would cut him off at the knees in a New York minute. Further, Tina Smith could’ve done the right thing and voted for funding the military and funding the CHIP program without getting Sen. Schumer’s permission. So could Sen. Klobuchar.

Instead, Sen. Klobuchar and Sen. Smith decided that they were Democrats first, Minnesotans second. They put their political affiliation ahead of their responsibilities to Minnesota’s most vulnerable citizens. They voted to protect illegal immigrants rather than pay our military or protect vulnerable children.

Minnesota, take a close look at Sen. Klobuchar’s and Sen. Smith’s disgusting actions. That’s what Democrats do. The DFL puts party loyalty ahead of doing the right thing.

UPDATE: According to this article, “the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) … provides health coverage for 125,000 children in Minnesota. Further, the bill that Sen. Klobuchar and Sen. Smith voted against would’ve kept “the doors open to community health centers that serve more than 180,000 Minnesotans and resources to combat the opioid epidemic that has taken the lives of hundreds of people in Minnesota and countless others across the country.”

Minnesota’s Democrat senators don’t represent what’s best for Minnesota. These DFL senators are actually Schumer’s shills.

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I suspect that Democrats got caught by surprise when Republicans took the fight to Democrats over the government shutdown. In the past, Republicans’ messaging during a shutdown was ineffective. This time, Republicans, especially from the administration, has been aggressive and effective.

This morning at 6:17 am ET, President Trump tweeted “Democrats are far more concerned with Illegal Immigrants than they are with our great Military or Safety at our dangerous Southern Border. They could have easily made a deal but decided to play Shutdown politics instead. #WeNeedMoreRepublicansIn18 in order to power through mess!” At 6:33 am ET, Trump tweeted “This is the One Year Anniversary of my Presidency and the Democrats wanted to give me a nice present. #DemocratShutdown.” Finally, at 6:44 am, Trump tweeted “For those asking, the Republicans only have 51 votes in the Senate, and they need 60. That is why we need to elect more Republicans in 2018 Election! We can then be even tougher on Crime (and Border), and even better to our Military & Veterans!” followed by the catchphrase ‘#AMERICA FIRST!'”

The administration wasn’t finished. Last night, WH Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders issued a blistering statement that said in part “Senate Democrats own the Schumer Shutdown. Tonight, they put partisan politics above our national security, military families, vulnerable children and our nation’s ability to serve.” Then she really blistered Democrats, saying “we will not negotiate the status of unlawful immigrants while Democrats hold our lawful citizens hostage over their reckless demands.” Ms. Sanders finishes strong, saying “During this politically manufactured Schumer Shutdown, the President and his administration will fight for and protect the American people.”

That wasn’t all. Mitch McConnell blistered Democrats in this speech on the Senate floor. Here’s the key part of Sen. McConnell’s speech:

But what has their filibuster accomplished? The answer is simple – their very own government shutdown. Shutdown effects on the American people will come as no surprise. All week, as we have stood on the floor and begged our colleagues to come to their senses, Senate Republicans have described exactly what this will mean. For America’s men and women in uniform, shutting down the government means delayed pay. For the many thousands of civilian employees who support their missions, it means furloughs. And for the families of fallen heroes, it may well mean a freeze on survivor death benefits. For veterans who rely on our promise of care, shutting down the government means threatening their access to treatment.

For so many Americans struggling with opioid addiction, the same is true. And thanks to the Democratic Leader’s decision to filibuster an extension of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, low-income families will slip closer to losing health coverage for their kids. And in many states this is an emergency.

I’m having trouble understanding which one of those outcomes my Democratic colleagues could possibly be proud of. Which one of them?

If Democrats were smart, (there’s considerable doubt whether they are) they’d call Mitch McConnell and say that they’ll agree to a long-term budget agreement, including a significant spending increase for the military.

It’s possible to win a fight if it’s just between which governing philosophy is best. The minute it’s a fight between the military and vulnerable children on one side and illegal immigrants on the other side, it’s over. That PR fight is finished.

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It’s safe to say that Democrats living in the Fever Swamp aren’t happy with certain Democrats. In fact, these Fever Swamp Democrats are threatening mutiny against Sens. Heitkamp, Donnelly, Manchin, McCaskill and Jones.

Some Fever Swamp Democrat with a screen name of e2247 was upset with those Democrats for how they voted, saying “Sure happy Jones beat Moore. As if that matters. Lucky we have McCaskill in there fighting for us — not. There was a report that Manchin was at the last minute whipping votes for the McConnell faction. Yay. Heitcamp [That’s spelled Heitkamp but whatever] never could be trusted to back the Dem’s. Reading names of Sen’s. voting yes went by fast — sure hope I didn’t make a mistake ;) sorry if I did.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Mitch McConnell is applying the heat to these Fever Swamp Democrats. Last night, Sen. McConnell delivered this speech on the Senate floor. Among the things he said that’ll sting Democrats is when he said “But what has their filibuster accomplished? The answer is simple – their very own government shutdown. Shutdown effects on the American people will come as no surprise. All week, as we have stood on the floor and begged our colleagues to come to their senses, Senate Republicans have described exactly what this will mean. For America’s men and women in uniform, shutting down the government means delayed pay. For the many thousands of civilian employees who support their missions, it means furloughs. And for the families of fallen heroes, it may well mean a freeze on survivor death benefits. For veterans who rely on our promise of care, shutting down the government means threatening their access to treatment. For so many Americans struggling with opioid addiction, the same is true. And thanks to the Democratic Leader’s decision to filibuster an extension of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, low-income families will slip closer to losing health coverage for their kids. And in many states this is an emergency. I’m having trouble understanding which one of those outcomes my Democratic colleagues could possibly be proud of. Which one of them? I think our friends on the other side took some really bad advice.”

If this doesn’t end soon, it won’t end well for Democrats. Shutting down the government to protect DACA recipients is what the Fever Swamp Democrats insist on but it isn’t something that’ll play well with ordinary people. If Democrats think that not paying the military to force a showdown on DACA is a winner, God bless them. They’re handing election victories to tons of swing district and swing state Republicans because I’ll guarantee that this isn’t playing well for Democrats on Main Street. Watch Sen. McConnell’s inspired speech here:

Anyone that thinks that parents whose children have health insurance through S-CHIP will be happy with Sen. Schumer’s Shutdown is kidding themselves. Sen. Schumer’s insistence on including a DACA fix when there’s still a ton of time left is a major tactical error on his part.

If you want to laugh about this a bit, Kurt Schlichter’s column is must reading:

What a tragedy it would be if Democrats made good on their threat and decided DACA was so important that they must shut down the federal government over it. Please don’t! Why, I’d be heartbroken if the government did less and a bunch of foreigners didn’t get rewarded for ignoring our laws. I think this is just the right hill for the Democrats to choose to fight to the death on, and I encourage them to do so. Throw us right in that briar patch, because you are smart and savvy and there’s no way a big dummy like Trump could beat you and make you look like fools.
Again.

Fever Swamp Democrats never were that bright. Apparently, that affliction is spreading to DC Democrats, too.

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If the shutdown hits, Republicans should criticize Democrats for being opposed to virtually everything that Republicans have proposed. While it’s totally justifiable to call this the #SchumerShutdown, because he’s encouraged Democrats to vote against funding the government, it’s also a Democrat shutdown because a bunch of so-called Democratic moderates haven’t developed a spine to stand up to Sen. Schumer or the Democrats’ special interests.

I have a theory on why we’re staring at another possible shutdown. It’s called a base election. How often have we heard that term the last 5 years? On the Democrats’ side, base elections are driven by identity politics. In that situation, Democrats have a checklist of things that they always vote for and another list that Democrats wouldn’t vote for if their lives depended on it. Whatever happened to senators actually voting to do the right thing?

In that respect, Lindsay Graham is most like Democrats because he won’t vote legislation that’s serious about border security.

This afternoon, Sen. Mitch McConnell delivered this speech on the Senate floor. It won’t be a wakeup call but it should be. Here’s something that he said in his speech:

The deadline to fund the government is nearly upon us. The Senate is now just hours away from an entirely avoidable government shutdown. At midnight tonight, funding for programs that millions of Americans rely on — like veterans’ services, opioid treatment centers, death benefits for the families of fallen soldiers, and health insurance for nine million vulnerable children – would be thrown in chaos.

Last night, the Senate began consideration of a bill passed by the House which would erase these threats. The bill keeps the federal government open. And it extends the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, which provides coverage for nine million children in low-income families, for six years. This vote should be a ‘no-brainer.’

And it would be, except that the Democratic Leader has convinced his members to filibuster any funding bill that doesn’t include legislation they are demanding for people who came to the United States illegally. What has been shoehorned into this discussion is an insistence that we deal with an illegal immigration issue. He’s insisted that he won’t support any legislation at all for the American people – no matter how noncontroversial or how bipartisan – unless we pass a bill on illegal immigration first.

Watch the entire speech here:

Let’s be exceptionally clear about this. Sen. Schumer is insisting on protecting illegal immigrants but he isn’t insisting on funding increases to our military. What type of wretched person has priorities like that? It’s immoral that a U.S. senator fights harder for protecting illegal immigrants than he’s fought for our military.

Any dirtbag that puts a higher priority on protecting illegal immigrants than he puts on properly funding for the military isn’t worthy of elected office. Other Democrats supporting that dirtbag are complicit in his hideous actions.

If Democrats want to vote for the #SchumerShutdown, then they should pay the price this November. This isn’t just the Democrats failing a policy decision. It’s Democrats failing a moral decision, too.

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With Democrats insisting that they won’t vote to fund government unless there’s also a ‘clean DACA bill’, I’d recommend that President Trump’s speechwriters put together a speech that politically cuts the Democrats’ legs off. That speech must spell out several things, starting with funding the military but also including the fact that any negotiations must include the top priorities for both parties. Specifically, it must say that a DACA fix is available only if it includes funding for President Trump’s wall. Period. It must also include a funding increase for the military. Here’s what that speech would say if I wrote it:

My fellow Americans, American politics has been broken since before I got to DC. A prime example of this was a moment of bipartisan insanity that eventually got called sequestration. When Congress passed sequestration, they voted to cut military spending unless they spent additional money on domestic programs. Often, those programs were used to buy votes.

When I got elected, the American people voted for someone who wanted to drain the bipartisan swamp. That’s my goal today. It’s been my goal since the day I got here. Now, the bipartisan swamp is trying to maintain the status quo by insisting that I sign a clean DACA fix. While that sounds good, the truth is that it would hurt American workers because a clean DACA bill wouldn’t fix chain migration, build the wall or end the visa lottery. It’s important that we have all 3 of those things.

Let’s make this perfectly clear. I won’t sign a clean DACA fix. Further, I’m insisting that Democrats vote with Republicans to pass another continuing resolution. This time, though, I want it to include a significant increase in military spending. Considering how hollowed out the military became thanks to sequestration, it’s unforgivable not to fix the problem that’s been created. Once we fix the military’s funding crisis, then we’ll sit down with leaders of both parties who are willing to negotiate in good faith. The foundation for those good faith negotiations are simple.

First, the wall is an essential tool in preventing drug smuggling and human trafficking. It isn’t the only tool but it’s an important tool. Second, not fixing chain migration simply means that the illegal immigrants already here would be able to bring their relatives to the United States simply because they’re relatives. I’m trying to change the immigration system to a merit-based system. It’s impossible to co-maintain a merit-based system and a chain migration-based system. They’re incompatible with each other. Third, we must end the Diversity Visa Lottery because its goal is to “ensure plenty of diversity in US immigration, so only individuals from countries underrepresented in US immigration are allowed to apply.”

My goal is to make sure that immigration helps strengthen the US economy. Wherever there are talented people who will help the American economy grow, we should consider their applications. To Washington, that doesn’t make sense. Throughout the rest of the nation, it’s the only system that makes sense.

Bringing me another rehash of the same policies that have been discussed before, whether it’s from the Gang of Eight bill or from the recent Gang of Six proposal, will be immediately rejected. As a negotiator, I understand giving on something I don’t like to get something I really want. Thus far, Democrats have said they won’t budge on funding the wall in exchange for the DACA fix.

I’m here to tell DACA recipients something important. Namely, I’m willing to sign a bill that gives DACA recipients piece of mind if it includes funding for the Wall and if it ends chain migration. The minute a bill that contains those things reaches my desk is the minute I’ll sign it.

Let me finish by summarizing my proposals. First, Congress must pass a clean CR that includes a funding increase for the military and that funds the government for the rest of this year by this Friday. Second, I will sign a DACA fix bill that includes funding for the Wall and that ends chain migration. Third, I won’t sign a rehash legislation that’s been the centerpiece of the Gang of Eight or Gang of Six bills because I want to sign something that puts America first.

Thank you and may God bless America.

It’s imperative that President Trump’s next speech does 3 things. It’s imperative that President Trump insists on a clean CR that increases military spending and that funds the government for the rest of the year. Further, it’s imperative that President Trump’s next speech calls out the Democrats for not negotiating in good faith on the military and on DACA. Finally, it’s imperative that President Trump’s next speech defines what he’ll sign in terms of DACA and why he’s insisting on those things.

If President Trump’s next speech happens this week and lays out those things, he will change the conversation. In fact, I’d argue that that speech would put Democrats on the defensive. Finally, it’s time to start hyping the theme that Sen. Durbin isn’t a trustworthy person: