By way of response to the article by the Chair of the Louisiana Democratic Party, State Senator Karen Carter Peterson, published in yesterday’s edition of The Advocate, I should like to begin by correcting the wildly inaccurate narrative contained within the article, which failed to mention a most salient fact:
The United States House of Representatives passed a spending bill fully funding the federal government before Christmas, despite opposition from every single Democrat representative. Senate Democrats then filibustered the bill until time ran out. By the way, our two Louisiana Senators, Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy, should be applauded for their resolute support of President Trump and his call for adequate resources to protect our borders.
So we see that Democrat intransigence caused the present impasse – there would have been no government shutdown had Democrats in either chamber had the least inclination to pass a spending bill in 2018. Not a single federal employee would now be worrying about his or her paycheck. To use Sen. Peterson’s own words, “The hypocrisy is astonishing…” and indeed hypocrisy is afoot in the halls of Congress, but not within Republican ranks.
While we are on the subject of hypocrisy, let us turn to the unwarranted attack on Louisiana Congressman Ralph Abraham. The fact that Congressman Abraham is also an announced candidate for Governor of Louisiana may be assumed by all to have been the reason that he was the target of Sen. Petersen’s special ire, but regardless, one should stick to the facts when making allegations, political or otherwise.
Congressman Abraham had voted for the spending bill which passed the House before Christmas. When it became apparent that this bill was stalled, he offered to remain in the Capitol through the holidays in an effort to get a spending bill passed. He left Washington to be with his family and friends for Christmas only after he learned that future Speaker Nancy Pelosi was already vacationing in Hawaii! The absence at such a critical time of their key leader in the House speaks volumes about the seriousness of the Democrats’ intentions of passing any bill in 2018.
Congressman Abraham voted against the spending bill passed by Democrats earlier this week because it made no provision for funding the border wall, while also expanding abortion access around the world. The difference between what the Democrats have offered and what is needed to continue serious work on the badly needed wall is a few billion dollars, which is a pittance in a government budget running into the trillions of dollars.
But despite their past assurances that America’s borders must be protected, Democrats prefer to let the dispute over the border wall fester for whatever political advantage they feel can be gained, and this is the real reason that federal civilian workers are now worrying about their paychecks. The Democrats latest stunts involve passing bogus bills that lack funding for border security- bills they know would never pass the Senate or earn the President’s signature.
Sen. Peterson and her fellow Democrats are justifiably concerned about the upcoming state elections later this year. The excited and unwarranted attacks against Republicans begun even before Christmas by Governor Edwards and his minions, readily attest to their nervousness. Unfortunately, they have already managed to establish a harsh and bitter tone to the politics of this most crucial election year, and the LAGOP will not hesitate to forcefully respond to such attacks. But if fight we must, at least let us never forget that facts are still facts even in this most political of times.
Louis Gurvich is the Chairman of the Republican Party of Louisiana.