The US Senate passed a law on Tuesday signed by President Trump to fund the government and end a three-day shutdown after the Democrats had agreed with the Republicans to continue talks on the immigration issues. Dave Lindorff, leading investigative journalist and editor, outlined his view on the ongoing standoff to Sputnik.
Sputnik: Following the end of this three-day government shutdown, US president Donald Trump is stating that this is a big win for the Republicans. Is Trump right in hailing this as a win for him and the Republican Party?
Dave Lindorff: I don’t think anybody really won here, but it showed the weakness of the Democrats because of their conservative members from certain states, where members weren’t willing to go to the map and therefore didn’t have the votes to hold their block on the budget. It also shows the weakness of the Republicans going forward because they’ve taken such a strong stance against Hispanics in the country.
Sputnik: On Monday evening, the phrase 'Democrats CAVED' was trending on Twitter. To what extent did the Democrats cave and conversely, what are the Republicans trying to say when Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell stated they had "come to an arrangement" to negotiate on the Democrats'?
Dave Lindorff: Well, we’ll see. The point it did show the Democrats are strictly limited and how obstructionist they can be as an opposition party, even though they are very close at 51-49 in the Senate. It’s not a block, both parties have members who range from very ideological and adamant against reconciliation, to people who want to play the middle and don’t want to alienate the voters in those states. Even if there are 4 or 5 of these senators in the Democrats it stops them being a block against horrible policies from the Republicans.
Dave Lindorff: I think the media and the politicians overplayed the significance of the short shutdown we experienced. Ok, so some national parks closed because the Rangers didn’t pay and didn’t come to work. If the military isn’t getting paid in Syria then that is just a joke. Obviously, soldiers get their food from contractors who are still providing food. The military has plenty of money and assets to keep things flowing so that’s fraud to say they’re undermining the military. Any essential services are being taken care of and when it’s a short shutdown like this, like we’ve had before, most federal workers in critical areas keep going to work and they know they’re going to get paid eventually.
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