The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Md. Democratic leaders to Trump and GOP-led Congress: ‘Enough is enough’

Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert), left, and House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) in 2015. (Brian Witte)

The top Democrats in the Maryland General Assembly have a message for President Trump and the Republican-led Congress as they veer dangerously close to the first federal government shutdown in five years: "Enough is enough."

In a letter to Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) on Wednesday, state Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) and House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) said they are frustrated by recent actions taken by Republicans and deeply concerned about the possibility of a shutdown, which they say could cost the state $5 million a day.

"Last month you enacted a tax package which blows a $1.4 trillion hole in the federal budget, does uncalculated harm to state and local revenue, destabilizes our health insurance marketplace and drives up costs for consumers, and raises taxes on hundreds of thousands of Marylanders," the joint letter reads. "Now it appears you may not reach a long-term spending deal, which could trigger a federal government shutdown. . . . On behalf of a state that is exhausted from being whipsawed by the inaction in Washington, D.C., we write to say enough is enough."

On Tuesday, Maryland Democrats unveiled a legislative package that would make changes to the state's tax laws in an attempt to lessen the impact of the federal tax changes on taxpayers from the state.

"Marylanders need a stable partner in the federal government," Miller and Busch wrote. "We urge you to promote stability by shutting down the talk of a shutdown, and to reach an agreement to keep the federal government funded."

Democrats in Congress have threatened to withhold support from a federal spending bill if it does not include protections for undocumented immigrants brought to this country as children, an option that the White House and immigration hard-liners have said would have to be accompanied by a crackdown on border security and other concessions.

On Wednesday, House Republican leaders began rounding up votes for a short-term spending bill, after White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelley said he believes Congress will work out a deal to protect the young immigrants, known as "dreamers," without giving a specific timetable.