Tracker Pixel for Entry

​Government shutdown ends, the blame game picks up pace

by C.S. Hagen | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | News | January 22nd, 2018

Official White House page screenshotWASHINGTON D.C. – The federal government reopened Monday, but not after blame shifting and a reluctant agreement made on key issues. Republicans declared victory, and some analysts agree, adding it will be short-lived.

Short-lived because now responsibility lies with Republicans to live up to their promises.

Despite a Republican in the White House and current majorities in Congress, the federal government went into shutdown on the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration. Last Friday night, four Republicans voted against the bill needed to fund the government temporarily for 30 more days, and five Democrats voted against party lines to keep the government temporarily funded.

The White House indicated on Saturday it would not negotiate one of the key issues Democrats are concerned about, DACA, or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, while government was in shutdown. However, after Senate negotiations Monday morning, the Senate voted overwhelmingly to bring the government backup.

The DACA program was initiated in 2012 by President Barack Obama, to allow minors who entered or stayed in the United States illegally a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation, and the eligibility to obtain work permits. President Donald Trump rescinded the policy in 2017, and working with the Republican Party, has been attempting to pull the program’s plug, which was considered one of the major obstacles to agreeing on a national budget.

While addressing media in Jerusalem, Vice President Mike Pence said Democrats were responsible for the shutdown.

“The American people know what happened, the minority in the United States Senate chose to shut down the government, denying our soldiers benefits and wages that they earned, jeopardizing government services just to advance an issue pertaining to illegal immigration,” Pence said.

Straight from the White House’s answering machine, blame was also placed solely on Democrats.

“Unfortunately, we cannot answer your call today because congressional Democrats are holding government funding, including funding for our troops, and other national security priorities, hostage to a unrelated immigration debate. Due to this obstruction, the government is shut down.”

Senator John Hoeven R-ND, jumped on the blaming bandwagon as well.

“I voted for legislation to fund the government and prevent a shutdown,” Hoeven said in a tweet. “The legislation would have prevented a shutdown. Unfortunately, Democrats blocked passage of the bill and forced a government shutdown because they want DACA added with no meaningful border security.”

Donald Trump's re-election campaign ad Taking a step further, an online article in Vox Magazine reported that not only are Democrats responsible for the shutdown, but they are “complicit” in all murders committed by undocumented immigrants.

The press release, entitled “Complicit,” trained its sights on Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer D-NY.

Ironically, during a 2013 interview with “Fox & Friends,” Trump said the most important person to blame during a government shutdown is the president.

“I mean, problems start from the top and they have to get solved from the top and the president’s the leader,” Trump said in 2013. “And he’s got to get everybody in a room and he’s got to lead… So I really think the pressure is on the president.”

Some believe Democrats caved in to pressure too early, but the party is counting on promises made by the GOP that they will put issues such as DACA on Congress’s menu with permanent solutions by February 8. Trump has promised DACA will end by March 5.

Despite the finger pointing, pre-shutdown polls from last week showed approximately half of the respondents would hold Trump and the Republican Party responsible for a shutdown, according to media outlets. Another poll managed by POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, said 41 percent of voters would blame Republicans and 36 percent blaming Democrats.

“There’s reason to say that I’m pleased that the government is back up, or will be back up shortly, but we really need to negotiate and not operate under continuing resolutions,” Senator Ben Cardin, D-MD, said. “I was very pleased that we have a commitment from the majority leader that by no later than February 8 that if we have not passed the bipartisan DACA dreamer protection bill, that we will have that bill on the floor of the United States Senate.”

Other issues Democrats are concerned about are: opioid funding and recognition as a national crisis, Puerto Rico hurricane relief, western wildfires, children’s health insurance program, which is still not permanent, community health centers, therapy cap laws, and pension issues.

Senator Heidi Heitkamp D-ND, worked with a bipartisan group of 13 senators known as the Commonsense Coalition to forge a deal to end the shutdown, she said in a press release. The group first came together in 2013 when the government was shutdown for 16 days.

“The single most important thing the Senate can do is govern, and today, we reached an agreement to help make that possible,” Heitkamp said. “The Senate also voted to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program for six years – an overdue long-term extension so that children and families across North Dakota can get the care they need.”

During the upcoming weeks, Heitkamp plans to push issues such as pensions, funds for the opioid epidemic, and support for community health centers.

“And we must hold Leader McConnell to his word that the Senate will vote in the next few weeks to strengthen border security while enabling young immigrants who came here as children to stay in the only country they know.”

For the second time, Heitkamp also introduced legislation to withhold members of Congress pay during a government shutdown last week.

The shutdown had a limited affect in North Dakota, and those effected should be back at work by Tuesday.

The North Dakota Office of the Governor reported 487 North Dakota National Guard federal employees were furloughed and about 350 National Guard members who reported for weekend training on Saturday were sent home.

North Dakota Adjutant Major General Alan S. Dohrmann reported an additional 606 federal technicians were furloughed.

“With the Senate’s action today, the NDNG anticipates everyone being back to work Tuesday,” Mike Nowatzki, communications director for the Office of the Governor said.

“A brief shutdown was not expected to have noticeable impact on the programs and services provided by the North Dakota Department of Human Services. In the event of a prolonged shutdown, the Department estimated there would have been enough funding to pay Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) premiums for eligible children through April 2018.”

Recently in:


A Battle Lost, A War Not Won

by HPR Contributor

by Jacques Harvieuxjacquesthejock@gmail.comAt first, optimism filled the air on Election Day at the Fargo Billiards and Gastropub. Earlier, Cole Haymond, the political strategist and campaign adviser for Legalize ND, expressed his…

Your operating system to be exact. That is Microsoft’s job. It is a tough job but Bill Gates signed them up for it many years ago. But Microsoft only supports each version of Windows for so long. For example, Windows 7 is…

November 8 – 11, Times VaryOak Grove Lutheran School, 124 North Terrace N., FargoSing along to your favorite Willy Wonka tunes at this delicious musical! Follow Charlie Bucket as he visits Mr. Wonka’s mysterious chocolate…

On Monday Dan Larson, a film student from Montana State University in Bozeman, swung by the office for an interview. This time I was on the other side of the questioning. Larson is currently working on a documentary about the…

Do Muslims and Christians have to wear gloves to play football?Gene and Matthew were both young teenagers when they realized they were gay. They finally met in the hallowed halls of Washington’s National Cathedral where leading…

FARGO - A collection of memories from High Plains Reader's annual Cocktail Showdown. Participants were judged on creativity, flavor, and presentation; and this year we added a new category. Like years before, each establishment was…

by Nataly Routledgenatalyroutledge@googlemail.comFARGO--I’ve been fortunate enough to grow up in Fargo during a time of growth and cultural development. One thing I’ve been holding out for while watching Fargo boom is…

When asked if Aaron “Heatbox” Heaton was ever formally trained to play an instrument he admitted to playing the tuba for seven years. Though during his senior year in high school he found his calling and it wasn’t the tuba.…


Oh hi Mark…

by James Osborne

If you Google something, anything, about halfway down the page you’ll find the “People Also Ask” section. The results of this section are, not surprisingly, determined by the most commonly asked questions which leads users to…

by: Melissa Gonzalezmelissam.gonzalez@outlook.comFrom music, to sculpture, to grand scale murals, one local artist is working tirelessly to share his work with the community.The West Acres Mall is currently hosting its fifth…

by Stella“Our mission is to invigorate civic conversation through intimate and transformative storytelling.” This statement posted on Theatre B’s website and tacked to their studio wall in…

Those who have been reading my articles for a while may remember when I interviewed Zachary Tooker about the Level Two Comedy Club at the Radisson in Fargo. While the club may have unfortunately closed, Tooker has not ceased…

Beer Snob

Warm up with a hot toddy

by HPR Contributor

by Ben Fall is once again upon us. The leaves are turning, gardens have been pulled, and Summer’s heat has waned into Autumnal frosts. Along with the change of seasons comes a change of seasonal flavors.…

I’m a big man, I’m tall and powerful, but this also causes some issues in the body department. I suffer from acute scoliosis in my lower back, and pain radiates from this area on a daily basis. I have only ever had one massage…

By Melissa Martinmelissamartincounselor@live.comThink back to one of your worst small decisions. Then answer the following questions:How did you make the decision?What happened after the decision?When did you know it was the worst…

Okay, against my better judgment, again, I'm going to weigh in on the 2018 election, just a week hence. Here goes.I told Democratic-NPL Congressional candidate Mac Schneider last week that if Heidi Heitkamp wins re-election to the…