Sen.Ben Cardin says lawmakers should pass a budget, not another continuing resolution.
Washington DC (KM). It’s a situation Congress has faced before: the possibility of a federal government shutdown. A continuing resolution which provides funding on a temporary basis is set to expire after January 20th.
Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md) says Congress needs to pass a budget, not another continuing resolution, which he calls “a failure.” “The Republicans control both the House and Senate and the White House. Democrats are prepared;pared to work with Republicans to make sure we don’t have a government shutdown. We’ve got to make sure that doesn’t happen,” he says.
Cardin also says a federal government shutdown benefits no one. “A government shutdown is costly. It’s not only costly to those who don’t get a paycheck and can’t work because the government is closed. It’s for those who need the services of government that are not performed. And it ends up costing the taxpayer more money,” he says.
The last time Congress dealt with a federal government shutdown was in 2013. It followed disagreements over the Affordable Care Act.
On another issue, Senator Cardin says Congress needs to act on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program by March, or about 800,000 immigrants who came to the US as minors could be deported. “It’s a really tragic situation,”: he says. “Already many have taken action to protect themselves, and families have been divided. This is really something that is horrible. We’ve got to fix it.”
Those who were part of the DACA program are called “dreamers. They came to the US as very small children with the parents who were illegal immigrants, and have grown up, gone to school and worked in the US, and do not know the country of their birth.
The DACA program was initiated by President Obama in 2012, and rescinded by President Trump in 2017.
Trump has called on Congress to enact DACA into law by March, or these “dreamers” will be deported. He’s tied his support for DACA to the construction of a wall along the US–Mexican border, something he promised during the campaign. Cardin says he does not support a wall, but says there is support in Congress for enhanced border security. “I hope the additional funds that are sought for border security are used for technology and personnel, and not a physical wall which will do very little,” he says.
The Trump Administration has asked Congress for $18-billion over the next decade to build the wall.
By Kevin McManus