Congress may have proven its inability to avoid a federal government shutdown, but President Donald Trump can act to make sure something similar doesn’t happen in the future, according to one longtime Democrat pollster.
On Friday, political analyst Pat Caddell suggested Trump should support a policy that would affect members of Congress where it hurts the most — their wallets.
Caddell indicated that going forward, in addition to ensuring the government does not shut down again, members of Congress must work to agree on a long-term budget deal months before they did so this time around.
“If Congress cannot produce a budget on time — which is September, not next January — they ought not to be paid,” Caddell said SiriusXM’s “Breitbart News Tonight,” referring to future budget negotiations.
As noted by The Hill, Congress had kept the government running up to this point with a series of short-term deals, or continuing resolutions. But in the future, Caddell doesn’t think that should be acceptable.
He added that the public response to withholding congressional salaries until a budget deal is reached would be overwhelmingly positive.
“That would go over like hell-fire. That would go over fantastically with the voters,” he told Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large Rebecca Mansour. “They are tired of this.”
Even without such a policy, it seems as though some members of Congress are already willing to go without pay until the government shutdown has ended.
The Western Journal previously reported that multiple members of Congress asked not to be paid, pending the concussion of the shutdown. Their requests were made in the form of letters sent to the Capitol’s administrative office, according to Fox News.
Though Caddell’s proposed policy would affect all members of Congress, regardless of party, he made it clear during his interview which side is to blame.
“The Democrats have shut this down solely on the basis of DACA and immigration,” he said, referring to Democrats’ stubbornness in demanding an immediate legislative solution for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
“They have got themselves locked in on this question about DACA,” Caddell said. But he suggested that focusing so much on providing amnesty for DACA recipients will prove to be an unwise choice in the long term.
“Yes, DACA itself is very popular, but so are the positions that Trump has laid out that also need to be part of any deal,” he said. “Those are also popular. Sanctuary cities are not popular. Simply amnesty by itself is not popular.”
“Most of all, protecting the border is popular, whether people like the idea of a wall or not.”
Democrats could have stopped the government from being shut down by supporting a bill that would have funded the government for the next four weeks and ensured that the Children’s Health Insurance Program is extended for the next six years.
But Democrat leaders in Congress opposed the bill on the basis that it did not address the roughly 700,000 illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.
Most Senate Democrats — and some Republicans — refused to support the bill, and the government shut down.
According to Caddell, Democrats should have known better than to force a shutdown over the DACA issue.
“Democrats certainly understood in December that this was not a good idea to shut the government down over DACA,” he said. “They’ve lost control of their base.”
Caddell said Trump ought to point out to the public how “children and the military” have suffered due to Senate Democrats’ refusal to keep the government funded.
“I don’t see in the end how the Democrats benefit,” he said in regard to the shutdown. “If the president says, ‘This is not part of the budget, and we’re not going to give it, and you’re hurting children and the military.’ And we will start seeing evidence of that very quickly.”
“The effects are going to pretty immediate and pretty real to people, and they’re going to be ticked off.”
Caddell also said Trump should highlight how Senate Democrats care more about serving party leadership then they do about their constituents.
“I think the president’s best argument about those senators is, when it comes to what’s good for their states and the country, they vote the way that’s good for their party leaders, and they are lockstep with them,” he said. “They don’t vote independently. They don’t vote for the interests of Missouri or Michigan or Wisconsin, and they certainly don’t vote necessarily for the country’s interest as their electorate’s might see it.”
“They are partisans first,” he added.
In a pair of tweets Monday morning, Trump did indeed blame the Democrat Party for the shutdown. Specifically, he called out congressional Democrats for looking to serve the “interests of their far left base.”
The Senate, meanwhile, was scheduled to vote at noon Monday on a bill that would end the shutdown and fund the government for three weeks.
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