U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told a reporter Thursday that Congress can’t follow the path it chose 18 years ago to resolve a standoff because of one difference between then and now — the tea party.
When Congress was at a budgetary impasse in 1995, it approved several programs piecemeal until the differences could be resolved, Politico reported.
The Politico report said:
One week into the government shutdown in December 1995, Congress approved — and President Bill Clinton signed into law — a stopgap bill to assure funding for veterans, welfare recipients and the District of Columbia through the Christmas holidays.
The six-page measure shared much the same purpose as the piecemeal funding bills offered now by the House GOP. But it was day-and-night different in terms of the floor debate.
The Weekly Standard asked Schumer why, given this past success, the Senate rejected House-approved bills to fund veterans, the military reserves, the National Guard, the National Institutes of Health and national memorials.
“It was a different world,” Schumer replied, adding before walking away, “Because we have a tea party.”
I can’t help but feel that the Democratic Party in general, and the White House and U.S. Senate in particular, are unaware of the concept of “negotiation.”
Negotiation means one side gives a little bit, then the other side gives a little bit until a meeting of the minds is finally achieved.
So far, the House is the only one doing any giving. It started out by tying a continuing resolution to a defunding of the Affordable Care Act. The Senate rejected it out of hand without offering a counter-proposal.
Then the House tied the resolution to a one-year delay in Obamacare’s individual mandate — rejected with no counter.
Then it proposed that we follow the Affordable Care Act to the letter of the law — no delays in the employer mandate and no waivers for Congress or the White House. The Senate rejected that without making a counter-offer.
One party negotiating with itself is not negotiation. It’s an act of disrespect. And contrary to Schumer’s statement, the tea party is not at the negotiation table.