Congress is two days away from a government shutdown, and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) doesn't have enough Republican votes for a fourth straight short-term spending package, facing discontent from GOP defense hawks and the far-right Freedom Caucus. Democrats say they will vote against it, despite a tacked-on 6-year extension of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), because Republicans won't agree to a deal to protect DREAMers. The White House and House GOP leaders are leaning on GOP holdouts while preemptively blaming Democrats if the government shuts down, arguing that Democrats are voting against CHIP.
When a Politico writer said it would be interesting to see how many Democrats "vote against a 6-yr CHIP extension," Ryan press secretary Doug Andres retweeted, roping in late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel, a vocal proponent of funding children's health care. Kimmel wrote back.
Shame on you for making CHIP a bargaining chip, shame on you for tying our children's lives to immigration and shame on you and @SpeakerRyan for doing ANYTHING other than funding CHIP cleanly and IMMEDIATELY.
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) January 17, 2018
The argument continued:
Republicans are the ones funding CHIP completely and immediately. Democrats are the ones voting no. https://t.co/vLBOncsdIE
— Doug Andres (@DougAndres) January 17, 2018
As you know, tying CHIP to spending bill is not a clean CHIP vote. It’s a transparent bid to lure Dems away from DACA. The majority, including Republicans, support a path to citizenship and full CHIP funding. Using kids’ lives as bargaining chips is disgusting. So stop it. https://t.co/aAXorJZZS6
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) January 18, 2018
It was actually a pretty good summation of the political fight. Andres appeared to have a hard time believing this was his life.
Really enjoying this reality where a late-night comedian tweets at me multiple times a day because he believes Republicans, not Democrats, are the ones voting against CHIP funding. https://t.co/w6xKMZsmzo
— Doug Andres (@DougAndres) January 18, 2018