Opinion

OPINION: Democrats Remain The Party Of ‘No’ After Trump Presents Viable Shutdown Solution

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Mark Meckler President, Citizens for Self-Governance

President Trump is an expert at calling someone’s bluff.

On Saturday, President Trump made a generous announcement that could end the partial government shutdown resulting from a showdown between the president and Congress. You know — the shutdown that began on December 22, 2018, and is now the longest in history. The one that Democrats have emotionally lamented on social media and television since it began?

Yet Democrats have already rejected the president’s proposal.

President Trump’s proposal included gift-wrapped concessions for Democrats: three years of protections for immigrants who benefit from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program as well as those immigrants considered Temporary Protected Status (TPS) immigrants.

His plan will allow the immigrants to get work permits and social security numbers, without the constant looming fear of deportation.  It will mean that 300,000 immigrants whose “protected status” is about to expire will be able to breathe more easily as a more comprehensive immigration deal is hammered out.

“This plan solves the immediate crisis, and it is a horrible crisis,” President Trump said. “And it provides humanitarian relief, delivers real border security and immediately reopens our federal government.  He added, “Our immigration system should be the subject of pride, not a source of shame as it is all over the world.”

At this point, you can almost hear him say, “You’re welcome, Democrats.” And some conservative commentators aren’t happy about that.

But he also included gifts for conservatives by asking for $5.7 billion in funding for a partial steel border wall on our southern border and investments in technology and roads. (He’s already built, replaced, or contracted more than 115 miles of barriers). It also includes $805 million to help stop the flow of illegal drugs and weapons across the border by using technology, security, and canines.

Additionally, his plan includes $800 million dollars in humanitarian assistance, medical support, and housing; $782 million to add 2,750 more border agents, law enforcement officers, and staff; $563 million to hire 75 new immigration judge teams to put a dent in the immigration backlog of 800,000 cases.

At this point, you can almost hear him say, “you’re welcome, Republicans.” And that part is apparently unacceptable to Democrats in Congress.

From a grassroots perspective, it’s gratifying to see the president figuring out a way to end this and move our nation forward by ending this shutdown. Yet in response, Democrats showed their true character by immediately declaring they aren’t willing to make any compromises, even common sense compromises that further their own causes and will undoubtedly save lives and reduce human suffering.

Sadly, it appears that they don’t actually care about DACA recipients, the humanitarian crisis on the border, the massive flow of drugs into our country causing a record number of deaths, or even the victims of violent crimes committed by illegal aliens.

Even before the president was able to speak about the issue, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected his offer, saying the Democrats won’t budge.

“It is unlikely that any one of these provisions alone would pass the House, and taken together, they are a non-starter,” Pelosi said. “For one thing, this proposal does not include the permanent solution for the Dreamers and TPS recipients that our country needs and supports.”

In other words, we are uninterested in saving lives and helping people. We put the fate of illegal immigrants yet to arrive over current DACA recipients and over citizens.

This means that instead of agreeing to end the government shut down she has lamented so publicly, she is actually choosing to prolong it.  Does that make sense to anyone else?

Therein lies the beauty and brilliance of President Trump’s “deal.”  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he’ll put the proposal into a bill and bring it up on the floor by the end of next week.

This will effectively force Senate Democrats to go on record filibustering a bill to reopen the government and make them look especially heartless and petty — or more accurately, it will reveal their pettiness and cold hearts for all of America to witness.

As a national grassroots activist, I know Americans of both stripes are sick of the polarization and political obstructionism that happens in Washington, D.C.

President Trump’s proposal strategically unites the Republican party behind this reasonable offer, one that Dems will not take because of their radical, left flank is now in control of the party.  They won’t give the President a “win” even if it means the nation wins, and human suffering is reduced.

Some Democrats might even go along with Trump’s reasonable plan, which would showcase the divide between reasonable Americans and the Democratic Party of No Humanity. It’s time to work on actual solutions that Americans want, instead of being held hostage by Democrats in D.C. interested only in scoring political points.

Mark Meckler (@MarkMeckler) is president of the nonprofit group Citizens for Self-Governance and a co-founder of the tea party movement.


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.