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Chuck Schumer's 'Founding Fathers' Reference Shows Why He's to Blame for the Government Shutdown

On Saturday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) blamed Republicans for forgetting "the lessons of the Founding Fathers" in the broken budget negotiations leading to the government shutdown. By doing so, he not only showcased Democrat hypocrisy, but emphatically proved that his party is to blame for the shutdown.

"Our democracy was designed to run on compromise. The Senate was designed to run on compromise. We are no dictatorship, subject to the whims of an executive," Schumer declared. "We are a government that can only operate if the majority party, the governing party, accepts and seeks compromise. The majority, however, has forgotten the lessons of the Founding Fathers. They have shown that they do not know how to compromise."

The very history of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) eviscerates Schumer's argument, as noted by the Federalist's Margot Cleveland. Democrats had ample opportunity to create such a problem the way the founders intended — by passing laws in Congress and having them signed by the president. Instead, President Barack Obama abused his executive power on the issue.

DACA came into existence on June 15, 2012, when the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a memo announcing a new policy — giving young people who were brought (illegally) to this country as children a two-year period of "deferred action." Even that memo admitted that DACA did not confer a "substantive right, immigration status or pathway to citizenship," because that was the domain of Congress.

Actually, under the Constitution as the Founding Fathers intended, DACA would also fall squarely under the control of Congress. So why didn't Congress create such a program? After Obama won the presidency in 2008, Democrats dominated the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. If this was such a big issue for them, why not compromise with Republicans to get it done when they were in power? If they demand compromise now, why did they not compromise then?

Obama's 2012 act represented a Democrat president effectively making law when the Democrats in Congress had refused to compromise and pass the law the way the Founding Fathers intended. Schumer has no authority to attack Republicans on this issue.

It got worse, however. In 2014, DHS unilaterally expanded the DACA period from two to three years, and created a new policy, DAPA — Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents.

In response, 26 states sued the federal government, arguing that DHS had exceeded its authority. A federal court agreed, issuing a nationwide injunction barring enforcement of DAPA and DACA. The court noted that "Congress had repeatedly declined to enact legislation 'closely resembl[ing] DACA and DAPA.'"