Should Democrats shut down the government?
via AP

Should Democrats shut down the government?

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House Republicans just passed their tax reform bill, which critics argue only benefits the rich. Democratic votes are required to move a spending bill through the Senate, and many are calling on Democrats to shut down the government if Republicans refuse to fix DACA, protect Obamacare and reauthorize the Children's Health Insurance Program. But others think a government shutdown is bad politics, and Democrats should instead do their jobs and seek to find common ground. What do you think?

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Josh Barro of Business Insider believes there is a strong chance Democrats will shut down the government sometime next month if Republicans refuse to fix DACA, protect Obamacare and reauthorize CHIP. 

Barro argues Democrats could put Republicans in an impossible position if they opted for a government shutdown, forcing the GOP to agree to a bipartisan spending bill that includes demands from Democrats. It would be unwise for Democrats to pass up the opportunity. 

A shutdown would considerably complicate the politics of passing the tax plan. Are Republicans going to cut corporate taxes while government offices and national parks are closed?
Talks about a bipartisan deal to fix DACA have stalled. So have talks about shoring up Obamacare's individual health insurance markets. So have talks about reauthorizing the Children's Health Insurance Program. So have talks about prohibiting bump-stock devices of the sort used in the Las Vegas massacre.
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But Democrats appear to be hesitant when it comes to talks of shutting down the government. Politico reports Democratic leaders are "preaching caution to their caucus," believing an obstructionist approach to government will only deepen the public's mistrust in the ability of Congress to accomplish anything.

Democrats keenly remember the blowback faced by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and other conservatives who forced a shutdown in 2013 over repealing Obamacare. Democrats are particularly wary of being seen as obstructionists with the midterms less than a year away and the House — and maybe even the Senate — on the line.
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