WASHINGTON (WHTM/AP) — Pennsylvania senators are responding after lawmakers failed to make a deal to keep the government funded.
Last-minute negotiations crumbled as Senate Democrats blocked a four-week stopgap extension in a late-night vote, causing the fourth government shutdown in a quarter century. Behind the scenes, however, leading Republicans and Democrats were trying to work out a compromise to avert a lengthy shutdown.
U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R) released a statement overnight about the shutdown.
“In a transparent political ploy, Senate Democrats prioritized amnesty for select illegal immigrants over governing, supporting our military, and providing health insurance to poor and middle-income children. Tonight’s vote by Senate Democrats is not rooted in principle or even ideology—they openly support every provision in the bill they voted against—rather it is a crass political calculation meant to appease the extreme left wing of their party. This is a mess that the Senate Democrats created, holding the entire country hostage because of an immigration issue that does not fully materialize until March. It is my hope that cooler heads prevail and a deal to keep the government open can be reached in short order.”
U.S. Bob Casey (D) also released a statement.
“Republicans who control Congress and President Trump have provoked a government shutdown by refusing to work in a bipartisan way on a funding agreement that protects the middle class, retiree pensioners and 800,000 people who receive health care through community health centers. The Republican funding plan shortchanges our veterans, community health centers, infants and mothers who receive home visitations, retired coal miners and other Pennsylvania workers and those dealing with the opioid crisis. There are bipartisan agreements in place that can help Pennsylvania families, but Republicans gave in to the extreme right wing of their party and walked away. I was not elected to genuflect to the demands of extreme House Republicans. I have an obligation to fight for the millions of families left out of this bill. For over 100 days, Republicans didn’t do a damn thing for kids impacted by the lapse in reauthorization of the Children’s House Insurance Program (CHIP). Instead, Republicans in Washington spent months working to pass massive tax cuts for their big corporate donors. Now all of a sudden they pretend like they care? If they truly cared for children like they cared for big corporations then the CHIP extension would be permanent.
Republicans should immediately reopen the government so that we can stay in session until we reach a commonsense agreement.”
Congress scheduled an unusual Saturday session to begin considering a three-week version of the short-term spending measure.