Sunday, October 24, 2021

‘The most important test of 2020:’ Democratic candidates debate Dems versus Shutdown Republicans

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Democrats have wasted no time turning the spotlight on their ongoing spending and border fight. Their failed efforts to fix something so painfully obvious has renewed momentum behind a change to the long-held Republican strategy to use spending bills to fund the government in perpetuity.

The next spending fight could be the most important for the short and long term of 2020 Democratic candidates.

“It’s a really important test for all of us,” South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds told CNN’s Manu Raju during an interview earlier this week. “And if it is successful, Democrats and Republicans can work together, and stop the 60 (votes) that we’re facing right now, because there are a lot of folks on the left that like to yell and scream about it. It’s kind of how they get their point across.”

Rounds also underscored that the fight could put their presidential candidates on the right side of the issue.

“It’s such a big thing this year for me, it really is,” Rounds said. “It’s a test and a chance for all of us to really show leadership in a position of leadership on something so important.”

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the ranking member on the House Homeland Security Committee, also backed the GOP strategy earlier this week, suggesting it would be counterproductive for Democrats to change tactics and blame President Donald Trump.

“If Democrats try to use the same obstruction strategy on spending bills, we’ll have no choice but to allow budget items affecting essential government services, such as salaries and benefits, to be cut — again,” Thompson told Raju. “Republicans would then do the same, and Democrats would then hold that position once again.”

Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), meanwhile, insisted Democrats would not let Trump have his way on spending, saying “that’s a very bad idea.”

More highlights from CNN’s coverage of the spending fight.

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