An imminent shutdown of the federal government just got a step closer as the US Senate blocked a spending bill designed to keep the government open past Friday.
Senate Democrats refuse to back the bill while there are no financial provisions to address the water disaster in Flint, Michigan. The Flint water disaster has left an entire town of children poisoned with lead, a condition which often-if not always- leads to lasting neurological damage.
And Republicans are so vehemently opposed to assistance for these victims that they are willing to face a federal government shutdown. Republicans claim that they will “address the Flint issue after the election in a separate water bill,” but if clean water is such a flippant issue to Republicans so as to warrant a months long delay, why should Democrats take them at their word?
As ABC News writes, they aren’t.
The Deputy Director of the National Security Program with a Washington, D.C., based think tank wrote on Twitter, “We’re four days away from a government shutdown because the GOP doesn’t want to pay for clean water.”
We’re four days from a government shutdown because the GOP doesn’t want to pay for clean water https://t.co/XIrexDb5hK
— Ben Freeman (@BenFreemanDC) September 27, 2016
Connecticut’s US Representative Joe Courtney pointed out the Republicans’ culpability on Twitter, writing that Congressional Republicans need to “stop playing chicken with our military and economy and work for solutions.”
We’re 72 hours away from a government shutdown- @HouseGOP needs to stop playing chicken with our military and economy and work for solutions
— Rep. Joe Courtney (@RepJoeCourtney) September 27, 2016
And an official outlet for Senate Democrats, the Democratic Policy and communications Center, also put Republicans on blast, writing, in glaringly bold capital letters, “REPUBLICANS PUT GOVERNMENT WITHIN DAYS OF SHUTDOWN BY REFUSING TO FUND FLINT.”
A tweet from the official Twitter account of Senate Democrats links to the statement.
We are days from another unnecessary government shutdown because Republicans refuse to help the people of Flint https://t.co/VK8R67UoDF
— Senate Democrats (@SenateDems) September 27, 2016
It’s not like such a mindset, allowing toying with crucial national government operations, is new for Republicans- even more specifically, leading Senate Republicans.
It’s US Senator Mitch McConnell, for example, who has led the charge to keep the US Supreme Court at sub-par operation by way of the refusal of he and his colleagues to confirm President Obama’s nominee to the now still vacant seat of deceased Justice Antonin Scalia.
The federal government shut down back in October 2013 under similar circumstances. Whether or not a shutdown will take place as a result of this latest partisan confrontation remains to be seen- although there’s only a few days left to find out the answer.