INTERVIEW: Senator Crapo weighs in on government reopening

Image Courtesy: Senator Mike Crapo

Listen to KID NewsRadio’s full interview with Senator Mike Crapo



IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — The clock is ticking in Washington D.C. again as President Trump signed a bill to reopen the government on Friday, January 25.

“I am very proud today to announce that we have reached a deal to end the shutdown and reopen the federal government,” President Trump said during his address in the Rose Garden. “As everyone knows, I have a very powerful alternative, but I didn’t want to use it at this time. Hopefully it will be unnecessary.”

President Trump Delivers Remarks Regarding the Shutdown

The White House

The alternative President Trump eluded to is his ability invoke a national emergency to push border wall funding through, and while the president said he didn’t plan to do so in the most recent battle over border wall funding, the option isn’t off the table.

Under President Trump’s deal with Democrats, lawmakers will have until February 15th to pass a budget bill or continuing resolution before another government shutdown. If lawmakers are unable to pass a bill with border security funding included, the president has said he is prepared to use the designation of a national emergency.

“Let me be very clear,” President Trump said. “We really have no choice but to build a powerful wall or steel barrier. If we don’t get a fair deal from Congress, the government will either shutdown on February 15, again, or I will use the powers afforded to me under the laws and the Constitution of the United States to address this emergency. We will have great security.”

Plenty of hesitation has accompanied the president’s option to declare a national emergency to get border security funding through. Senator Mike Crapo told KID NewsRadio the option could come back to bite Republicans if a different president uses what could become precedent for other issues.

“There will be some concern that using this tool is a double edged sword,” Sen. Crapo said. “This tool is a double edged sword and that in the future, creating the precedent for you for solving one of these issues this way could be very, very dangerously used by a different president for different issues, and that’s a concern that I think does have some merit, and that’s the reason I would hope the president doesn’t do it unless there’s no other option.”

Still, lawmakers have time to hash out the details of budgets and funding. In the mean time, Sen. Crapo said, Americans are getting an up close look at the people truly responsible for stopping the government from opening and from securing the southern border of the United States.

“The polling very clearly showed it that a lot of people kind of missed the point that it was Nancy Pelosi who was stopping government,” Sen. Crapo said. “Now that that issue is off the table, I think the president has a much stronger hand in the negotiations because it becomes very clear at this point that the roadblock here is Nancy Pelosi…The circumstance right now puts a spotlight on who and what are the real obstacles to securing our border as opposed to having it all blurred by the rest of the battle.” Sen. Crapo said.

Sen. Crapo said he’d like to take out the political weaponization of government shutdowns in future legislation. In previous Congressional sessions, Sen. Crapo has sponsored acts to prevent government shutdowns by creating automatic continuing resolutions. In 2019, he has joined forces with several other Republicans to try and pass the End the Government Shutdowns Act (S.104).

View the bill text and find out who is cosponsoring the proposed legislation:

S.104 – 116th Congress (2019-2020): End Government Shutdowns Act

Summary of S.104 – 116th Congress (2019-2020): End Government Shutdowns Act

“It actually takes the teeth out of a government shutdown ploy, and I reiterate the ploy this time was not President Trump, it was Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, and I think that they would have lost a lot of political leverage had this legislation been in place,” Sen. Crapo said. “I’m hopeful that someday we put it in place so that we just continue going automatic [continuing resolutions] while we have these battles, which then takes the politics out of just working out the budget.”