Back in December, Jimmy Kimmel held his baby boy Billy in his arms as he stood on the set of his late-night show and practically begged members of Congress to protect the Children’s Health Care Insurance program. One month later, funding for CHIP hangs in the balance of a bitter fight on Capitol Hill that could shut the government down by the end of this week.
“This really is amazing,” Kimmel told viewers Thursday night. “We’ve reached a point somehow in which North and South Koreans have a better relationship than Republicans and Democrats do.”
As the host explained, Republicans “have been trying all week to blame Democrats for a possible shutdown,” even though the GOP is in control of the House, the Senate and the White House. “Democrats can’t even shut their computers down without Paul Ryan’s permission,” he joked.
Kimmel condemned Republicans for lumping CHIP into their spending bill. “It’s been 100 days since it expired, it’s very scary for parents,” he said. “Funding for CHIP should never have been allowed to run out in the first place. This is a program that’s supported overwhelmingly by both parties, Republicans and Democrats.”
“All Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell had to do is put it up for a vote, it would have been a done deal,” he continued. “But they decided to use it as a bargaining tool instead.”
To illustrate his point, Kimmel acted out a scene in which he tried to buy a cappuccino but the barista tried to sell him a bag of horseshit along with it. When he refused, the man threatened to shut the whole coffee cart down.
“The bottom line is, if they want to fund CHIP, which they say they do because they care about children, they could do that immediately,” Kimmel said of the Republicans in power. “If they took a vote on CHIP alone, there would be no votes against it. But they want to use children’s health as leverage.”
To make matters even more complicated, President Trump threw a wrench in the process on Thursday morning when he tweeted, “CHIP should be part of a long term solution, not a 30 Day, or short term, extension!”
That “happens to be 100% correct,” Kimmel said of Trump’s statement, but it “also happens to be exactly the opposite of what the White House said yesterday.”
“So now these guys don’t know what to do,” he added, “especially because it’s unclear whether the president understands that CHIP is a government program and not a bag of cookies whose last name is ‘Ahoy.’”
Kimmel ended by saying he thinks Trump actually wants a government shutdown. “He thinks it would be a like a snow day for him to take off,” he joked.