Schumer shutdown

You may have heard that the federal government shut down recently for three days, but what surprises me more than the shutdown is the reason for the shutdown.

I fully and completely blame this on Senate Democrats, specifically New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, who serves as the Minority Leader. He was willing to—and did—shut down the federal government for so-called “dreamers,” who are undocumented minors in America.

Now, don’t get me wrong here. The “dreamers” are important and are not at fault here, as their parents or guardians brought them to this country as children illegally. It wasn’t their choice to break the law.

However, it’s becoming more and more difficult to feel sympathy for those “dreamers,” as they have disrupted Capitol Hill the past few weeks with “protests” involving screaming at the top of their lungs in the front lobbies of lawmakers’ offices and from every floor in federal buildings. Let me tell you—that’s one way not to get what you want around here. The squeaky wheel on Capitol Hill doesn’t get the grease—it gets the handcuffs.

If Senate Republicans would’ve allowed a vote on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which gives temporary protection to “dreamers,” it would’ve failed in both the House and the Senate, and Democrats know that. That’s why it’s baffling as to why Democrats were willing to go to such drastic measures.

So, after three days, Republicans and Democrats struck a “deal” to end the shutdown. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would work on DACA with Schumer, so Schumer caved.

In the end, Democrats lost this fight and are no further along than they were prior to shutting down the government, as McConnell has said before that he’s willing to work with Schumer on an immigration deal.

North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis said it best with a tweet prior to the shutdown. He said, “All members should look in a mirror and ask themselves if they’re in Congress to make a point or to make a difference. If they truly want to make a difference, they should stop their saber rattling, vote to fund the government, and then roll up their sleeves and get to work on bipartisan solutions. If they’re just here to make a point, they should quit their day job and become a cable news contributor.”

So, how did this affect agriculture? Not too terribly much.

It didn’t have any effect on the upcoming farm bill negotiations. At the Department of Agriculture, USDA laid out the status of specific services provided during a government shutdown.

However, the government is only running on a short-term fix—three weeks to be exact. We could be in the same boat then, as I’m doubtful a deal on DACA can be reached in such a short amount of time. But I’m hopeful that Democrats will recall how this shutdown did not play out in their favor and be more cooperative when it comes down to the wire again.

Editor’s note: Seymour Klierly writes Washington Whispers for the Journal from inside the Beltway.