Many of the country’s top media outfits blamed the Democratic Party for allowing the government to shutdown instead of bridging a budget impasse with Republicans in the Senate.
“U.S. Shutdown Starts as Senate Democrats Block GOP Funding Plan” a Bloomberg headline blared early Saturday morning, referring to the Senate’s inability to agree on a variety of budgetary issues. The New York Times and AP chimed in with similar headlines.
Republican and Democratic leaders have not stopped talking through their differences. Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, for instance, said late Friday night that the conflict has a “really good chance” of being resolved before the weekend concludes.
Both parties took substantial risks during the negotiations. Republicans refused to bend to the Democrat’s demands to negotiate, while the minority party largely unified to use the shutdown deadline to exact protections from the GOP for hundreds of thousands of young illegal immigrants.
Media outlets, meanwhile, painted the issue in harsh tones for the Democrats — one NYT headline declared: “Senate Democrat Block Bill to Keep Government Open Past Midnight, Shutdown Looms,” while the AP simply noted that, “Senate Democrats derail bill to avert shutdown.”
Republicans tried to sweeten the deal, offering Democrats a long-term extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, as well as the delay of some unpopular health-care taxes. Republican Party leaders believed the public would blame their colleagues on the other side of the political aisle if the sweetener was rejected.