Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders laughed off Republican efforts to paint the Democrats as the party that doesn’t care about providing health insurance to kids if the short-term GOP spending bill doesn’t pass the Senate in the next 24 hours.
The GOP is using CHIP as a political pawn in their effort to pass a short-term budget to keep the government open, and Democrats aren’t likely to take the bait.
Sanders said the American people will not be fooled into thinking that the Dems are to blame if the government shuts down.
— Sean Colarossi (@SeanColarossi) January 19, 2018
Chris Hayes said: “You heard them: ‘Democrats don’t care about children’s health care. There’s nothing you object to this in this bill. It’s your fault if kids don’t get health care. This is the Schumer shutdown.’ What do you say?”
Sanders quickly shut this GOP narrative down:
These are the guys who wanted to cut Medicaid by $1 trillion over a ten-year period. These are the guys who wanted to wipe out completely the Affordable Care act and throw 32 million people off of health insurance. What’s going on here, Chris, tonight, is not hard to understand. We are 3 1/2 months into the fiscal year. 3 1/2 months. We are a $4 trillion government and the Republicans have not yet been able to pass an annual budget. You cannot run a government like that.
In other words, the Republicans can’t run a government, so now they’re doing everything they can to blame everybody but themselves – even if that means spewing the unbelievable nonsense that it’s Democrats who suddenly don’t care about reauthorizing CHIP, which gives health coverage to millions of children and pregnant women.
For months, Democrats and many Republicans have been urging Congress to take up a clean vote to reauthorize CHIP. Republicans have refused to do so, and now it’s clear why: They don’t care about health coverage for 9 million kids; they only care to use it as a bargaining CHIP for their own benefit.
If the government shuts down at midnight on Friday, the American people will know it’s because of the Republican Party’s cynical game-playing.