NBC’s Kasie Hunt blames “both sides” for problems in Washington, gets slammed

Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison and colleagues demonstrating against GOP government shutdown in 2013.

Today, Kasie Hunt of NBC News took to Twitter to blame “both sides” for the current mess in Washington, including another potential federal government shutdown. Here’s Hunt’s tweet:

Almost immediately, Hunt got slammed on Twitter by many people who all had essentially the same reaction. Here are a few samples, including one from Messaging Matters:

 

As these tweets make clear, the “bothsiderism” that is so popular among the mainstream media is way off base here. Republicans have the votes to keep the government open. Democrats are not talking about a filibuster which could prevent such a vote. Rather, they are talking about a (mostly symbolic) vote by some members of Congress against the Republicans’ bill to fund the federal government. Why? Largely because Republicans let two programs — Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) expire and have not renewed them. CHIP provides health insurance to nearly nine million children and is a bipartisan program, but was passed in big part by the efforts of Hillary Clinton. DACA was a decision not to focus administrative resources on deporting undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, the reasoning being that such children did not decide to come here, rather their parents decided for them, such children have now been raised in America as Americans, and there is an interest in keeping families together. DACA was decided by President Barack Obama. Since Clinton and Obama are the Republicans’ two favorite targets, and probably for ideological reasons, the GOP picked these programs for termination, somewhat cruelly as many people would say. Now there is a legitimate legislative fight over whether to restart the programs, for how long, and at what funding levels. Not surprisingly, as the tweets above indicate, Republicans did not include Democrats in the decision to end the programs, and the Democrats’ votes on funding the federal government are one of the only ways to register their disapproval with such decisions, and to fight to restore the programs.

Perhaps the Republicans are also worried that some fellow Republicans also oppose the current funding bill. For example, Republican Senators Mike Lee and Rand Paul oppose the current GOP government funding bill because it reauthorizes Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Service Act (FISA), which they and others believe can be abused to conduct domestic spying in the U.S. But again, that Republican resistance has nothing to do with the Democrats. Kasie Hunt and anyone else talking about “both sides” in this case are sorely mistaken.

Photo by Keith Ellison, used under Creative Commons license. https://is.gd/3A1jue

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