The U.S. military will not conduct a jet flyover above the AFC Championship Game between the New England Patriots and Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday because Democrats voted to shut down the government, the Boston Globe reports.
“A striking casualty of the budget impasse will be the empty skies in Foxborough as the New England Patriots take the field for their game Sunday afternoon: Four fighter jets that had been expected to fly over the stadium just before the game were grounded by the shutdown, said Lieutenant Colonel Lisa Ahaesy, spokeswoman for the Massachusetts National Guard,” the Boston Globe reported on Sunday.
The reason why they will not fly over the stadium, as is tradition, is of course because Senate Democrats refused to vote for a bipartisan funding bill that contains nothing they oppose. This particular consequence—the canceling of F-15 fighter jet flyover—is directly because of a half dozen or more Democrats who represent New England areas and Florida, the home state of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Massachusetts’ two Democrat senators, Sens. Liz Warren (D-MA) and Ed Markey (D-MA), both voted for the government shutdown by voting against the bipartisan House-passed government funding bill late Friday night. So did Rhode Island’s two Democrat Sens. Jack Reed (D-RI) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). As did New Hampshire’s two Democratic Sens. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)—and Connecticut’s two Democratic Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Chris Murphy (D-CT). Maine Independent Sen. Angus King, a leftist who caucuses with Democrats, voted for the shutdown against the funding bill on Friday as well. Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, a leftist who also caucuses with Democrats, also voted against keeping the government open as did his fellow Vermonter Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT). If each of those New England senators voted with their Republican and Democrat colleagues for the government funding bill, the government would be open right now as the bill needed 60 votes to pass per current U.S. Senate rules.
The bill ended up failing technically 50-49, but it really had 51 senators in favor of it since Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had to vote against the final product so he can use an arcane senate procedure to call that bill up again in the future. If those New England senators voted to keep the government open, that would be 11 more votes against the government shutdown that is currently in its second day—meaning it would have more than reached the bare necessity of 60 votes to pass.
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), a leftist Democrat from Florida, also voted for the government shutdown against the House-passed funding bill. His vote would have been helpful in getting to the 60-vote margin as well, but the liberal Democrat up for re-election this year voted against keeping the government open.
Sadly, while the bill did have majority bipartisan support in the U.S. Senate—as it did in the U.S. House the night before—Senate Democrats, under pressure from Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, used a procedural mechanism known as the filibuster to shut down the government. That requires 60 votes for legislation to pass, and even though the vast majority of Republicans and five U.S. Senate Democrats—for a total of majority support of 51 votes in the Senate backing the bill—voted for it, the bill went down and the government shut down thanks to Schumer’s and his Democrats’ actions.
There are two ways forward from here: Schumer and his Democrats can vote for the bill they blocked so as to reopen the government upon McConnell calling it back up or, as President Donald Trump said via Twitter on Sunday morning, McConnell could change the Senate rules so a simple majority which support the bill get it passed into law. There is also the possibility of a different bill being negotiated out, but that seems unlikely at this time since Democrats refuse to negotiate on anything that does not contain amnesty for DACA illegal aliens and Republicans will not negotiate on immigration until Democrats reopen the government.
Fans of both teams playing in the AFC Championship Game today, the Patriots and Jaguars, really only have two senators who voted against the government shutdown and for keeping the government open: Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Marco Rubio (R-FL).
So, when the AFC Championship Game in Foxborough does not feature a flyover from our military’s best F-15 fighter jets, you can thank the Democrats who represent New England and Florida.