Sen. Dianne Feinstein raised the alarm over a looming government shutdown that could take people’s lives, but isn’t ready to do anything about it herself.
When the federal government shuts down “people die,” the California Democrat warned reporters on Capitol Hill as she left a caucus lunch where a funding bill to keep the government running was discussed, CNN reported. Feinstein has flip-flopped on how she will vote on the measure, despite her stark view of the effects of a shutdown.
“Shutting down the government is a very serious thing. People die, accidents happen. You don’t know. Necessary functions can cease,” she said. “There is no specific list you can look at and make a judgment: ‘Well everything is going to be just fine.’ You can’t make that judgment. So, I think it’s a last resort. And I’m really hopeful we don’t get to it.”
Feinstein, along with her fellow Democrats, have been threatening to block the funding bill, known as a continuing resolution, if Republicans don’t include the Dream Act to help illegal immigrants who were protected under the expiring Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
In a statement from her office earlier, the senator – like her Democratic colleagues – was more interested in protecting non-citizens in the country illegally than in saving the lives that are supposedly on the line.
“People die, accidents happen,” Feinstein tells @tedbarrettcnn about the impacts of a government shutdown, saying she is uncertain how she will vote on CR, despite press release her office issued today saying she was a ‘no.’ https://t.co/Rfp5lsgmnL
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) January 18, 2018
“I said in December that I wouldn’t vote for a CR without the Dream Act, and I won’t do so now,” Feinstein said in the statement. When pressed about her willingness to vote against the bill if people will “die,” Feinstein said it’s a “big risk,” according to CNN.
The 84-year-old, who is running for her sixth term, did not appear to have a consistent position throughout the day.
“I don’t know how I would vote right now on a CR, OK?” she responded in the Capitol Hill hallway interview. Apparently, if lives are at risk as she thinks, Democrats will find a way to blame Republicans.
For the third time today, the senior senator from California has changed her position on how she will vote on the Short-term spending bill. https://t.co/Dj6jUGAVwO
— Ed O’Keefe (@edatpost) January 18, 2018
House Republicans voted Thursday to keep the government funded, and therefore open for another four weeks. Bit in the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rejected a request to hold a vote by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and berated Democrats for linking DACA to the debate on government funding.
“My Democratic colleagues’ demand on illegal immigration at the behest of their far-left base have crowded out all other important business,” McConnell said Thursday evening, according to Politico. “I think the American people clearly would not expect us to act this way.”
“The leader is looking to deflect blame. But it just won’t work. We all know what the problem is. It’s complete disarray on the Republican side,” Schumer fired back.
A compromise is needed in the Senate by the end of the day Friday to keep the government operating.
“The only people standing in the way of keeping the government open are Senate Democrats. Whether there is a government shutdown or not is entirely up to them,” Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters Thursday.
“Sen. Schumer, do not shut down the federal government,” he said. “It is risky, it is reckless and it is wrong.”
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