Sunday, January 20, 2019


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Shut Down?

            Here we go again.

            Today is the deadline for our elected officials to pass a federal budget.  Without it, we could face another federal government shutdown.  You know, like the one most recently just a few days ago.

            There is money for big increases for domestic and defense spending; and money to fight the opioid epidemic and disaster relief.

            But, as of Wednesday, it didn't include protection for immigrants caught up in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  It also didn't include drastic immigration reforms and money to build a wall along our border with Mexico.

            As of Wednesday, there was enough opposition on both sides of those arguments to spiral us into another budget standoff.  Interestingly enough, many elected officials seem to be happy with most of the numbers in the budget, but the two sticking points are keeping enough Democrats and Republicans from indicating they will vote for it.  Instead, it looks like another government shutdown will be coming.

            Reportedly, Democrats want Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan to make a commitment that the DACA issue would be included in any House bill.

            Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is crafting a bill in the upper chamber with Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, has made such a commitment.  In fact, Wednesday afternoon those two leaders announced that they had reached an agreement on a bi-partisan deal.  We'll see if the rest of the Senate feels that way before Thursday night's deadline.

            On Tuesday, President Donald Trump reportedly said that he would love to see a government shut down if his immigration issues weren't addressed.  Those issues include up to  $30 billion for a border wall, beefed up security, and an end to the visa lottery program and chain migration.

            It seems a shame that government issues aren't addressed on their individual merits without going through the give and take of issues that are barely related to the actual problem on the table.

            The bartering (I'll agree to this if you agree to that) compounds problems that can be solved simply by addressing the issue at hand - but elected officials must fairly address each issue at hand.  And, that seems to be where many of our problems lie. 

            It's an "I got mine so let's move on" mentality that can't be accepted from elected officials.  It's a mentality that more and more voters are becoming aware of and rejecting.

            As Abraham Lincoln so powerfully wrote, "Ours is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people."

            Shutting the government down will not shut-up the people.





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