Regarding the recent assertion that “The Signal editorial board has never been more factually incorrect than they were in their attempts to lay blame for the recent government shutdown at the feet of Democrats” (“Lee Uber | Apology Owed to Hill, Democrats,” Jan 21), the letter to the editor fails to note what was incorrect, deflecting to a legislative process argument.
Mr. Uber then continues to present a one-sided narrative he prefers and references a series of bills passed by the House Majority with Rep. Katie Hill’s yea votes after taking office and asserts that the shutdown fault lie with the Senate Republicans’ failure to pass them.
What Lee omitted is a bill was passed by the last session of the House of Representatives before funding ran out for a number of federal agencies last year.
The difference? That bill included $5.7 billion in funding for our southern border barrier repair and extension.
With passage, Speaker Paul Ryan kept a commitment made to the president when he signed the prior omnibus legislation early last year after Democrats caused a shutdown over permanent Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) legislation.
Using Lee’s logic, all the Senate Democrats had to do was to forego their DACA filibuster threat and pass the House legislation, avoiding the entire partial shutdown that began near the end of December 2018.
If this reads like inside political baseball, that’s because it is. And Rep. Katie Hill and Santa Clarita Valley Democrats like Lee Uber are counting on the 25th District constituents forgetting the recent history by highlighting “shutdown” travails and wandering around the Capitol Building with “Where’s Mitch” performance art video.
As The Signal editors detailed, this is a political dispute over immigration policy that has zero to do with ensuring federal employees receive their regular paychecks. They could have been paid last year without interruption or, failing that, earlier this year with an amendment to Democrat majority legislation.
Instead, it was a calculated denial of a presidential legislative objective in preparation for the 2020 campaign. In short, a contest of political power between parties with no apology required to anyone but federal employees.
I encourage Rep. Katie Hill to keep her 2018 campaign promise to be a pragmatic, bipartisan legislator focused on the interests of all the constituents of the 25th District — because temporary funding expires this month.