Gottheimer & GOP duck tough issues, avert shutdown

The Republican-led House of Representative passed a temporary spending bill that avoids a government shutdown, but lawmakers failed to act on pressing immigration, health care and national security issues.

The only New Jersey Democrat in Congress to support the temporary Republican budget was Rep. Josh Gottheimer, who upset Republican Scott Garrett in the 2016 elections.

The stopgap spending plan was approved with a 231-188 vote that left Democrats criticizing Republicans for failing to complete work on a dozen spending bills for the current fiscal year and relying on a third short-term bill since the budget year’s Oct. 1 start.

President Donald Trump rescinded an Obama-era program giving protection against deportation and an opportunity to become citizens to immigrants brought to the country as children who remain in the country illegally.

The so-called Dreamers will be subject to deportation unless Congress takes action by a March deadline imposed by the White House to renew the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals(DACA) program.

“They embody the best in our nation: patriotism, hard work, perseverance,” said Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California. “We should not leave them to celebrate the holidays in fear.”

Congress left without finishing work on budget limits that freeze on the Pentagon and domestic agencies, a long-term extension of the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program for 9 million low-income kids and Senate legislation aimed at stabilizing health insurance markets.

Some Democrats wanted to force Republicans to compromise on those pressing issues under the budget deadline but allowing Congress to leave Washington, DC, with unfinished business amounts to a capitulation and surrender.

“Ever since Donald Trump took office, Republicans have been making their priorities crystal clear. They’ve been doing everything they can to help out their wealthy campaign donors at the expense of working people,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren. “We’ve been fighting them every step of the way.”

 

 


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