There are no winners from the embarrassing federal shutdown fiasco last weekend.
National media and political insiders are working overtime to pin blame or claim victory for the first government shutdown of President Donald Trump’s term in office. Iowans are sorely disappointed at the petty partisanship on display, but not surprised.
The so-called compromise bill signed Monday by Trump to restart the government effectively is a brief timeout in the bipartisan blame game. The measure funds the government only until early February, then Congress will be back in the same place, facing another government shutdown.
Neither of Iowa’s senators can claim much credit for ending the legislative impasse. U.S. Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst did the right thing by voting to advance bills to keep the government open, yet they’ve done little to avert the crisis politics we’ve seen play out for years now in Washington, D.C.
Does anyone really think Republicans and Democrats will come together for a meaningful, long-term compromise in February?
We are glad one of the underlying issues holding up a government funding deal has been resolved.
The bill signed Monday includes a six-year reauthorization of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which expired last September. Delaying that funding any longer would have been heartless and unnecessary.
However, Congress still has no path forward on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an Obama-era program that provided legal protections to immigrants brought illegally into the United States as children.
Trump set an early March deadline for the end of all DACA protections, and called on Congress to work out a solution. Those who benefited from DACA now are in limbo, many unable to renew their status or to work legally.
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Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell promised, as part of this latest short-term funding deal, to allow a vote on DACA legislation, but some lawmakers who oppose this program could sink that effort.
All of this despite the fact that CHIP and DACA are supported by a majority of Americans, Republican and Democrat.
Iowans are fed up with a federal government that seems to careen from one crisis to the next. The health of our republic now depends on politicians making a good-faith effort at an immigration compromise.
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