Democrats would rather see sick children, veterans suffer than work with GOP
John McCormack at Weekly Standard:
On Monday, Congress unanimously agreed to pass a standalone measure to pay the troops during the partial government shutdown, and President Obama signed the bill into law. But on Thursday morning, Senate majority leader Harry Reid blocked votes on House-passed bills to fund veterans, the military reserves and National Guard, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and national memorials.
As Politico reported Thursday, during the 1995 government shutdown congressional Republicans and President Bill Clinton were able to agree to a "stopgap bill to assure funding for veterans, welfare recipients and the District of Columbia."
Why won't Senate Democrats and President Obama agree now to any more stopgap funding bills?
Senator Chuck Schumer of New York told THE WEEKLY STANDARD following a noon press conference Thursday that in 1995 "it was a different world." Why is that? "Because we have a Tea Party," Schumer said without elaborating as he walked away.
On Wednesday, Senate majority leader Harry Reid said Congress "can't pick and choose" between funding the NIH, which includes programs treating children with cancer, and other government functions, like an Air Force base in his home state of Nevada.
At a Thursday press conference, Reid dodged a question when asked why he was willing to pass the standalone troop-funding bill on Monday but not the other measures. "Because by that time we hadn't had all this silliness back and forth with the House. We thought that would end it. It didn't," Reid said.
So far, the Senate's Democratic caucus has remained united. Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana is facing reelection in 2014, but she isn't breaking from her party on the stopgap funding bills. Asked Thursday morning at a press conference if she would vote for the NIH or veterans affairs bills, Landrieu told THE WEEKLY STANDARD, "I would not."
"This cannot be done by piecemeal and should not be done by piecemeal. What part is more important than the next?" Landrieu said.
Dear Senator Landrieu: The whole point of governing is making choices, you ninny. It's up to you and your colleagues to figure out "what part is more important than the next." That's your job. It's exactly the reason we have a $17 trillion debt, a $800 billion deficit, and an entitlement system that is on the way to bankrupting us.
Republcans aren't much better, but at least they acknowledge that making choices is part of the job. In this case, Democrats have chosen to make war on vets, sick children, and others simply to spite Republicans.
This, then, is the party of "compassion?"