During an interview early this Wednesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg reminded Americans that Republicans in the House can’t reasonably just pass off responsibility for the potentially imminent shutdown of the federal government to some other group. They’re the ones who’ve struggled to pass anything, let alone something that strikes reasonably bipartisan common ground to allow for a constructive path forward for both Congress and Americans. And funding is running out.
“This shutdown threat has come up because extreme Republicans in the House are threatening to do it, and all the Speaker has to do is live up to a deal that he already made with the president of the United States — that most House Republicans already voted for,” Buttigieg said, adding: “[Certain Republicans are] asking us to choose between either extreme cuts that would mean less railroad safety inspections, less ability to modernize air traffic control, and yes, less security at the border, or a shutdown, which would also be incredibly disruptive and harm everything from our economy to our security.”
Republicans are desperate to make the situation at the border into something from which they can politically benefit, and leading members of the party, particularly in the House up to Speaker Rep. Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), have repeatedly and brazenly misrepresented what’s actually been seen there. It is, in general, just flat out not true to characterize the Biden administration as having somehow systematically stepped back from the consistent implementation of U.S. law around immigration and the border.
But that’s where Republicans are staking their claim amid this government funding dispute, with a report from the outlet Punchbowl News saying this week that McCarthy wanted to modify a Senate agreement to keep the government open with a border bill from the House. And just to make it clear what that bill actually carries, even included are demands for border wall construction!