WASHINGTON— U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), joined Stuart Varney on Fox Business today to discuss Democrats’ intention to shut down the government. Cassidy also appeared on WWLTV in New Orleans this morning. Key excerpts of Cassidy’s remarks are transcribed below.
ON DEMOCRATS VOTING AGAINST CHILDREN’S HEALTH
CASSIDY: I’ll just say, as a physician, the Children’s Health Insurance Program is incredibly important. And we’ve listened for the last six months people shedding crocodile tears, which were deservedly shed, over the importance of that program and the need to renew. Now, this bill will renew it, the House passed a bill that will renew it for six years, and Democrats are shutting down the government and refusing that deal for an issue that doesn’t have to be addressed for a month and a half. I mean, that is those so nakedly the issue. Hopefully those who care about CHIP will be calling up Democrats saying, “Do your job.” DACA doesn’t have to be addressed for a month and a half, why don’t we get CHIP reauthorized now? Wouldn’t that be great to have it reauthorized for six years?
ON THE CHOICE DEMOCRATS FACE
CASSIDY: You can fund the military, you can fund the government and you can take care of the CHIP program now, and take care of DACA later. Or, you can shut down CHIP, kids lose their health insurance next week, military is obviously unsettled, etcetera, because of a [DACA] deal that doesn’t have to be done for a month and a half. Now, that is the core of the issue.
ON SCHUMER’S SHUTDOWN CHAOS
CASSIDY: I just cannot believe it. I cannot believe that Democrats are going to deny kids health insurance like, beginning Sunday, because of a deal that doesn’t have to be done on illegal immigration for a month and a half. As a doctor, as a guy who took care of the uninsured for many years, I’m passionate about it, talk about the military next, talk about everything else next, and yet they’re going to shut that down too. I just cannot believe Democrats are doing this.
ON DEMOCRATS PUTTING ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION OVER CHILDREN’S HEALTH
CASSIDY: As long as their priority is the illegal immigration, and not keeping the government and not renewing the Children’s Health Insurance Program, that will be difficult. You’ve got to make a priority of the Children’s Health Insurance Program. If you do that, it falls into place. … As long as the Democratic leader of the Senate is apparently telling his folks to vote against the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and to vote for the government to shut down, I’m not sure there’s progress to be made.
ON THE DACA IMMIGRATION DEADLINE BEING WEEKS AWAY
CASSIDY: That DACA issue is important, but doesn’t have to be addressed until March the 5th. So that’s why this thing is kind of crazy.
ON WHETHER THE GOVERNMENT WILL SHUT DOWN TONIGHT
CASSIDY: That’s going to be a question for Democrats. I mean, it is totally in their control. Republicans will vote to keep the government open. We’ll vote for the Children’s Health Insurance Program to be renewed for six years.