AS I SEE IT
By Neal A. Shipman
Everyone knew that the partial government shutdown was going to happen. The Democrats in the U.S. Congress knew it was going to happen as did the Republicans. And so did the American public.
The only question was how long the shutdown would last before either side would cave in and get the government running again.
The major issue for the Democrats, who have now regained control of the U.S. House of Representatives, is President Trump’s demand that funding be provided for his wall along the southern U.S. border. The Democrats want no part of funding that wall, which was one of Trump’s primary election promises. And by getting Trump to cave into ending the shutdown with funding for his wall would be considered a major win by the Democrats.
Trump, on the other hand, has told congressional leaders that he is willing to see the partial government shutdown go on for months or years unless he gets the $5 billion that he wants for the wall.
So while the Republicans and Democrats play their political game of wills, it is the thousands of government workers and contract workers that were sent home without pay that are paying the price as the political grandstanding plays out. And so are the American taxpayers who are finding many government departments, such as the Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Homeland Security, Interior, State, Transportation, Treasury and Housing and Urban Development operating at less than full capacity.
For each and every day that Washington continues to let this national embarrassment drag on, more and more American taxpayers will be impacted.
And for that national embarrassment, there is plenty of blame to go around. But who should take the blame depends on who the American public decides is most credible. And unfortunately, those people who support Trump will blame the Democrats, while those who despise Trump will blame him and the Republican party.
That kind of ideological following does not generally work well in life. And it definitely doesn’t work well in government where compromise gets things accomplished.
And that lack of compromise at the federal level is something that is going to cripple the ability of our government to move forward in passing any meaningful legislation in the coming years. What the American public is witnessing today in Washington, D.C., is shameful and sad.
It’s time for Trump, as well as the Republicans and the Democrats in Washington to find a compromise that they all can claim is a win-win solution. That is the way that government should be run. And that is what the American public wants.
Americans want their elected leaders to serve them and to be able to reach the important compromises when they must. And in this case, that means finding a solution to the illegal immigration issue and ending the partial government shutdown.