It's been 104 days since the Republican Congress allowed funding to expire for the Children's Health Insurance Program and community health centers. There's just one reason for that and everyone on Capitol Hill—including Republicans—admit it: it's a hostage.
It's hard to figure out why, exactly, Congress isn't passing CHIP—unless you put it in the context of how hard it is for Congress to pass anything right now. CHIP is leverage. There's not much disagreement over what to do about the program itself.
Some Republicans, including Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden, are pushing for a six-year extension. Ranking Member Frank Pallone said he wants a permanent extension, and Senate Democrats are pushing for a 10-year extension. […]
Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, who is about as hardline on government spending as they come, said it wouldn't be a big deal to attach CHIP to a government spending bill: "Most of our members have voted for the CHIP reauthorization and have not expressed concern over having it included in previous funding vehicles."
"I honestly think it has more to do with what else can you attach to it, because CHIP is popular with both Republicans and Democrats. It’s a matter of, should we be adding something to it that might be just below the threshold of being passable that they could add in so they could get more than one issue completed," said Sen. Mike Rounds [R-SD], adding he doesn't like this strategy.
He might not like the strategy, but he's not going to raise hell with his leadership to change it. Instead, they're taking a four day weekend. This isn't just the worst Congress ever. It's the most evil.
Jam the phone lines of House and Senate Republicans. Ruin their holiday weekend. Call (202) 224-3121, and tell them to stop holding kids hostage and to pass a clean funding bill for CHIP and community health centers.