Could we soon see another shutdown?
A bipartisan Congressional panel is continuing its efforts to find an agreement which would prevent a second partial government shutdown this year. According to an article from the Associated Press, those involved are optimistic about their efforts, but government has a tendency to get bogged down just as lawmakers approach the finish line.
New complications arise and what was thought was a done deal, suddenly goes back to the drawing board.
The last shutdown, which lasted more than 30 days, came to an end only a few weeks ago, but the sticking point continued to be an agreement over border security.
President Trump has demanded $5.7 billion for what may or may not be an actual wall, or it could be a series of steel slats, it seems to depend on when one asks him about it. Members of the negotiating panel say the funding will probably be closer to $1.6 billion, which was the amount included in a Senate bill last year. That bill, of course, wasn’t signed and was probably the last real attempt at any deal prior to the shutdown.
Negotiators are talking different types of barriers, as well as locations to build. Despite political rhetoric, we realistically understand it’s impossible to construct a full-length wall along the southern border. Geography and private land ownership are two reasons, but there are others.
There also have been discussions of technology-based security systems; beds, shelters and other needs for use in areas where detained immigrants are being kept; and more.
So, members of this panel are hoping to have an agreement in place by this Friday, at which point, it would have to go before both houses of Congress for a formal vote. Assuming it would pass, then it must go to the president.
That’s where the concern in. Will the president actually sign this bill if the funding is significantly less than what he has been saying is needed?
The use of this bipartisan panel is more how government should work. Not everyone is going to get exactly what they want on every issue, not matter what promises are made to rile up their supporters. There is going to have to be some give-and-take to find a solution to any problem. Perhaps, some folks in Washington are starting to remember that.
But again, will the president sign any agreement which doesn’t have what he wants? Is he willing to take a little bit now instead of getting a full “win.” Will he decide to take executive action instead, as has been suggested, to take money from other sources in order to get all of the funding he has said is needed?
Whatever agreement is reached — if there is one at all by the deadline — the hope for many is we don’t see another shutdown, especially not this soon and hopefully not as long as the most recent event.
Despite what was said, there were concerns in the nation’s economy because of the shutdown, and there will be some lasting effects. Our national parks definitely felt the strain as they were kept open with reduced manpower and funding, and, frankly, there could be some permanent damage to some of them as a result.
This also isn’t entirely about whether government operations are open. Think about the people who are affected if this would happen and go long-term again. We heard comments about how those furloughed would most likely still get paid once a shutdown has ended, but what about in the meantime? What about the bills they aren’t able to pay? It’s not as easy as just getting a loan from the bank as Wilbur Ross appeared to suggest. It definitely goes well beyond just Democrats and Republicans arguing. This has a real effect on the people of this nation.
The nation can’t afford another shutdown right now.
This is just one more reason the “my way or the highway” approach to government doesn’t work.