South Carolina politicians react to government shutdown

Updated: Jan. 20, 2018 at 1:46 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS/AP) - South Carolina politicians are responding after the federal government shut down late Friday night.

Although many government operations will continue, almost half of the 2 million civilian federal workers will be barred from doing their jobs if the shutdown extends into Monday.

The shutdown was a striking display of Washington dysfunction and the finger-pointing came quickly – including here in the Palmetto State.

The South Carolina Democratic Party released a statement early Saturday morning putting the blame for the shutdown on Republicans.

"The Republicans couldn't unite their caucus to fund the government. They control the House, the Senate, and the White House, yet failed at the most basic act of governance. It is up to them to grow up and work with Democrats on a compromise for the American people."

Related: Bad timing: Shutdown spoils Trump's 1-year festivities

Senator Lindsey Graham released a statement later in the morning expressing his support for an extension that was proposed by Senator Mitch McConnell.

"Leader McConnell mentioned last night he was willing to make a proposal for a CR through February 8 and seek resolution on immigration, disaster relief, military and government funding, CHIP, and other health care related issues.  I would support such a proposal.

"I also agree with Senator McConnell we are close to a resolution on all these issues.

"After extensive discussions with senators on both sides of the aisle, I believe such a proposal would pass if there was a commitment that after February 8th the Senate would move to an immigration debate with an open amendment process if no alternative agreement was reached with the White House and House of Representatives.

"This will guarantee the Border Security/DACA issue will be brought forward with an open amendment process for resolution no later than February 8th. I'm confident we can find a solution to Border Security/DACA once we start the process.  Success on this will lead to a breakthrough on all other issues.

"After my discussions with numerous senators on both sides of the last night it is clear to me a commitment to move to immigration after February 8th is the key to ending the government shutdown and finding resolution on all the outstanding issues.

"However, having additional time to resolve these outstanding matters if there is the will to get the job done.  General Mattis's statement yesterday that defense cuts and continuing resolutions have done more damage to the American military than any enemy on the battlefield was very sobering.  Military necessity —combined with the reality that DACA recipient lives will soon be turned upside down — provides the incentive for Congress to get it right once and for all.

"In light of these realities, I'm hopeful there will be overwhelming bipartisan support for the February 8 proposal."

South Carolina Representative Joe Wilson also released a statement on the government shutdown in which he blamed Senate Democrats.

"Last night, I was disappointed to watch Senate Democrats oppose a clean spending bill that would have kept our government open and reauthorized the Children's Health Insurance Plan for six years. Senate Democrats are just trying to distract families from President Donald Trump's successes on his first anniversary in office.

A government shutdown does not benefit anyone, and it causes irreparable harm to our military. Over 100,000 National Guardsmen will be sent home from weekend training, and over two million service members will have their pay disrupted by Senate Democrat's partisan politics. This is unacceptable.

Sadly, Democrats have chosen to hold adequate funding of our troops serving in harm's way across the globe and children in need of a long-term fix for their health insurance hostage over immigration legislation. It is time Democrats in both the Senate and House stop playing politics and fund the government, it is what their constituents and their country expect of them."

White House budget director Mick Mulvaney predicted a deal would be reached by Monday when most government offices are to reopen after the weekend.

The last shutdown came in 2013 when tea party Republicans sought to use a must-pass budget bill to try to force President Barack Obama to delay implementation of his health care law. At the time, President Trump told "Fox & Friends" that the ultimate blame for a shutdown lies at the top. "I really think the pressure is on the president," he said.

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