Who’s Shutdown Is It Anyway?

The government shutdown lasted 35 days but was finally re-opened thanks to a temporary deal. The government shutdown has affected all branches of the government. Eight-hundred thousand government workers went without a regular paycheck.

Even the Coast Guard has been affected. The government has even been unable to agree on paying the Coast Guard. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer blocked a bill that would have provided for paying this branch of our armed forces. Both sides have been quick to place the blame for the shutdown on the other side.

Is It Trump’s Fault?

President Donald Trump has requested 5.7 billion dollars to construct a border wall on the Mexican border which he describes as being in a state of emergency. This claim is not without validity. Mexican drug cartels have frequently used the border to smuggle in drugs. More alarmingly, human trafficking is also frequent. Many migrants die while attempting to sneak across the border. Even when they get here, they are often mistreated or used for what amounts to slave labor.

Chuck Schumer gave a succinct explanation for why Democrats oppose the wall. For one, Trump has not presented a plan for building the wall. There are many farmers and landowners who will not want to give up their land so that the wall can be built. In addition, Schumer claims that the wall will not be an effective measure to prevent illegal immigration.

Is It The Democrat’s Fault?

Throughout the shutdown, Trump has attempted to compromise. He offered protection for those under the DACA program, the children brought here illegally in exchange for funds to build the border wall. This was not only rejected by Democrats, but it also angered conservatives who are opposed to amnesty for these individuals. Senator Mark Warner described the compromise as “hostage taking.”

Democrats have continued to reject any compromise. They have rejected amnesty for DACA recipients. They have rejected attempts to open the government to pay the Coast Guard. They have proposed their own version of a border security bill, with essentially the same dollar amount, but without Trump’s wall proposal. Due to a Republican majority, this plan will likely fail.

Does It Matter?

It is this journalist’ opinion that placing blame is irrelevant and unhelpful. Both sides have been remarkably obstinate. Trump calling Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, “irrational” is not helpful. Chuck Schumer blocking pay for the Coast Guard is equally unhelpful in addition to disrespecting the men and women who put their lives on the line for this country.

There are no winners when our governing officials put their own ideologies above the national good. When that happens, the entire nation loses.

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