Why Republicans own the shutdown

Republicans own this government shutdown 100%. It really isn’t even Trump. While he has shown a total lack of leadership and flip-flopped his position on everything at least once, it ultimately comes down to Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan.

Republicans have total control in congress. The determine what bills are voted on and what is in those bills. They can, and do, write bills without any input from Democrats. Democrats only real power is how they vote in the Senate. Republicans can do whatever they want in the House and control everything up to the actual votes in the Senate.

The 60 vote threshold in the Senate is not some obscure rule that hasn’t been used for 150 years. Everyone knew from the start that passing the continuing resolution would require 60 votes.

Since Republicans control the entire process, it is their responsibility to craft legislation that has enough of a consensus to pass. Contrary to popular rhetoric, no member of either party is required to vote a certain way on any bill. Democrats, or Republicans for that matter, are not required to vote for the bill just because there is a 6 year extension to CHIP in it.

It is incumbent on Mitch McConnell to craft a bill that will get 60 votes. He is in charge of the Senate. The buck stops there.

If Democrats were holding a position that was untenable, such as demanding to repeal the new tax cuts, cut military spending by 50%, or universal healthcare, then it would be entirely Democrats fault. Democrats are not. They are demanding things that the vast majority of Americans and members of congress support.

Democrats have said for over a month that they would make these 2 demands. The shut down could have been avoided if Republicans brought both of those items up for a vote prior to these negotiations. Republicans control what legislation is brought up for a vote. They have had the power all along to resolve this situation. They did not because they wanted to use them as bargaining chips, even though they support both things and both things would easily pass both the House and the Senate if brought up as stand-alone legislation.

This is why Congress has gotten increasingly stupid. They refuse to vote on things they agree on because they want to use them against each other for things that they disagree on. They should be horse-trading on details of things they don’t agree on. They should not be horse-trading on things they agree on and agree is good for the country.

For the moment, until Democrats demand something outrageous that Republicans will never allow, the responsibility falls on Republicans to lead and present a bill that can get 60 votes. Period.