U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, says she does not anticipate another federal shutdown next month when Congress gets back to work on a temporary budget resolution. During a stop today at the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, she says the “middle muscled up” during the budget process to help put a stop to a three-day federal shutdown this week.
McCaskill, who is considered vulnerable in her re-election bid this year, has been noted as one of the Senators who played a role in ending the budget gridlock. She says a group of 12 Republicans and 13 Democrats standing up to their parties was a silver lining to a very dark cloud.
“I think that group really sprung up as a result of the shutdown. Now the question is can we nurture it and make sure it stays in place,” says McCaskill. “I’m not optimistic about how much it will grow because if you grow it much further, you’re going to get into Senators who are in very safe places and they are not as motivated to find compromise.”
McCaskill says Congress must stop trying to pass legislation that is a “take it or leave it deal at the eleventh hour”.
“We’ve got to get back to not having it all one way or the other. What you are seeing, and both parties are guilty of this in the appropriations process is, ‘If we just wait until the last minute and wrap it all up in an omnibus the way we want it, no one will have the nerve or the power to really stop it’. That way you don’t get the amendment process. You don’t get the give and take. You don’t get the compromises that I think are essential to finding the right way forward,” says McCaskill.
Lawmakers in Washington are expected to tackle changes soon to federal immigration laws that Republicans and Democrats have drastic differences on. President Trump, R, is now saying he supports citizenship for 1.8 million immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and are often referred to as “Dreamers”.
McCaskill thinks Congress will find the “right compromise” on border security. Trump wants funding to extend the wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.
“He’s not asking for the kind of money that would build a wall sea to shining sea,” says McCaskill. “He’s asking for the kind of money that can say he built a wall.”
McCaskill says she hopes the moderates can also move the needle on infrastructure and health care.
A field of four Republicans are running for U.S. Senate to face McCaskill in November. Attorney General Josh Hawley is the presumptive frontrunner of the group.