A lukewarm Congress
After a drama that led to a brief government shutdown, the US Congress has approved a budget agreement that does not solve anything, while dangerously increasing the country's debt.
If there’s anything Donald Trump knows how to do it’s to get money from where there is none.
After a brief government shutdown (the second in less than a month), Congress finally approved a budget for the federal government, thus giving the Republican Party a new victory.
But not everything that shines is gold, much less in a Washington fractured by the inability of legislators to come to an agreement.
While both the president and his Republican spokesmen have blamed the Democratic Party for the delay and obstructionism in reaching a pact, it was the representative Rand Paul (R-Ky.) the one who paralyzed the vote after refusing to take any decision with respect to the measure before the cut-off time for closure, which many have considered "a shame" for a Congress controlled by Republicans.
As reported by POLITICO, Paul "blocked consideration of the measure because he didn’t get a vote on an amendment to keep Congress under strict budget caps, as well as stripping the debt limit from the package." Enraging the leaders of his own party in the Senate, Paul insisted that his behavior was the only way to make them listen. "There’s only so much I can do. This is a silly thing about it. I can keep them here until 3 a.m. I will make them listen to me," he told Fox News.
On the other side of the contest, the drama was not smaller.
Even after her fervent demand not to approve a federal budget without resolving the issue of young people that arrived in the country during childhood (Dreamers), the Democratic representative Nancy Pelosi did not obtain the necessary support in her own party, who resorted to voting the measure postponing the immigration debate for next week.
"We have a moment. They don’t have the votes,” the representative urged behind closed doors. But her calls were not answered.
Apparently, the 400 billion dollar agreement weighed more than social justice.
For Democrats like Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, the decision was simple: “I cannot in good conscience go home and say to my [hospitals that serve low-income patients] that I didn’t vote for this because of DACA.”
And that is when it comes to money, there is no better businessman than the one who sits in the Oval Office.
For her part, the president of the Hispanic Caucus in Congress, Michelle Lujan Grisham, issued a statement after voting against the bill, saying: "it is unacceptable for Republicans to control every branch of government, yet continue to govern so recklessly."
"This budget caps bill was an opportunity to address all of our nation’s most pressing issues, including ensuring that families had access to health care, communities affected by disasters received relief, and Dreamers were permanently protected. Instead, we must now continue to fight tirelessly for a lasting bipartisan legislative solution for Dreamers."
For the Senator, the Republican leaders in Congress (Ryan and McCarthy) still don’t recognize that the constitutional crisis in which the country is gradually submerged has been caused by President Trump, "and demands immediate action.”
The strategy of the Republicans is crystal-clear: they put pressure to separate the budget issue from the Dreamers emergency in order to obtain the votes that the White House demanded, and postponed again a decision around more than 800,000 young people who fear being deported from their own country.
In short, the Republicans insist on curing with lukewarm water an infection that has compromised the entire nation, and many Democrats took the bait.