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Monday, December 09, 2019

Trump Budget Chief Can’t Explain Why GOP Blocked Military Pay During Shutdown

Republicans have been backed into a corner for blocking military pay, and they have no good answers for why they’re harming the troops through their political gamesmanship.
Donald Trump’s budget chief Mick Mulvaney had no real answer when asked why the White House and Republican Party are blocking service members’ pay and benefits during the GOP-engineered shutdown of the federal government.

Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill introduced a resolution to ensure that military personnel continue to receive their pay during the shutdown, as President Obama had done during the Republican-led shutdown in 2013.

But that lie was exposed on Sunday morning when Mulvaney was confronted by Face the Nation host John Dickerson about comments he made during the 2013 shutdown, in which Mulvaney pointed out that “our troops are still being paid.”

“I have a much greater understanding of a shutdown now that I’m the O.M.B. director,” Mulvaney insisted, but then falsely implied that military pay was deferred in 2013, as it will likely be this time around.

But Dickerson wasn’t dissuaded. “Claire McCaskill … brought up a vote to pay them while the shutdown was going on,” Dickerson said, adding “That vote — Mitch McConnell didn’t bring that up for vote.”

“Why wouldn’t the White House, the executive branch, do everything they can to take care of the troops while this is being adjudicated?” Dickerson asked.

Mulvaney first tried to dodge the question by vaguely referring to other unrelated resolutions that were proposed Friday night into Saturday morning, but finally chalked the blocking of military pay by Republicans to “the sort of the dynamic flow in the Senate.”

Unfortunately, our troops can’t pay their bills with Mulvaney’s excuses.

All day long on Sunday, Trump officials like Mulvaney tried to escape the consequences of their shutdown, and time and again, those efforts were met with failure.

Hopefully, that failure will lead them to end this shutdown quickly, and stop holding Americans hostage to their destructive agenda.

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

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