Make Them Hear You! is a weekly feature on KGNU, produced by Chris Mohr, letting listeners know how they can have their voices heard on issues up before Congress. You can hear it Wednesday mornings at 8.20am during the Morning Magazine.
Congress needs to pass at least a temporary spending bill by Dec. 8 to keep the government funded and avoid a shutdown. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., dismissed as “ridiculous” the idea among some Democrats of forcing a government shutdown if Congress doesn’t resolve the issue of young undocumented immigrants facing possible deportation with the ending of the Obama-era DACA program.
Some Democrats are saying they won’t to agree to a deal to keep the government open unless Congress addresses some 800,000 young immigrants covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program which the Trump administration is ending.
“That’s a ridiculous idea,” McConnell said. “There is no crisis. The president has given us until March to address the issue of undocumented children who came into the country … through no choice of their own and are in a kind of difficult spot. I don’t think the Democrats would be very smart to say they want to shut down the government over a non-emergency that we can address anytime between now and March.” Republican whip Sen. John Cornyn says there is “no way” a spending bill will include a deal to protect young immigrants, something for which Democrats have been fighting, setting up the possibility of an imminent government shutdown.
Waiting until March to pass legislation for DREAMers could have big implications for both immigrants and the U.S. economy. A report by FWD.us and the Center for American Progress (CAP) on the consequences of a DACA repeal found that it would result in “enormous job losses and far-reaching economic consequences”, as well as an average of 30,000 recipients losing their jobs each month.
Senators Bernie Sanders and Cory Booker are the latest to add their names to the lawmakers who refuse to let DACA die, speaking out on Friday about their plans to boycott a vote otherwise.
On the other hand, you don’t have to be very old to remember the things Obama said in 2013 and 2015 in the face of Republican threats. “Republicans in Congress… are even talking about shutting down the government .” He added: “You don’t like a particular policy or a particular president? Then argue for your position. Go out there and win an election.” During the 2013 shutdown, 800,000 Federal workers were furloughed without pay, VA Benefits were interrupted, and it cost the country $24 billion. Some Democrats are wondering why other Democrats may be leading a government shutdown when they so vociferously opposed it in the Obama era.
If you have an opinion on shutting down the government to resolve the DACA issue, you can contact your Senators and Congressperson and share your concerns.