Another day, another threat

Well, because our leaders in Washington, D.C., can’t agree on anything significant, there is — once again — the threat of a government shutdown.

The major problem with Congress’ nasty habit of never passing a comprehensive federal budget is that every few months threats of another government shutdown pop up.

If congressional leaders and the president fail to reach a compromise by Dec. 7, the country could see its third partial shutdown of the federal government this year.

The battle, once again, includes a disagreement between Democrats in Congress and President Donald Trump over funding for the wall on the border between Mexico and the United States. Democrats want to have $1.6 billion in the measure for border security — the president wants $5 billion toward construction of the wall.

Latest estimates put the total price for construction of a wall across the border at $25 billion. The president’s repeated claim during the 2016 election that Mexico would pay for the wall has fallen by the wayside. The American taxpayers would foot the bill.

The president told Republicans in Congress on Tuesday that he will not back down. He repeated that stand in an interview with Politico released Wednesday.

In September, the president signed legislation that fully funded five agencies for the entire fiscal year. According to CNBC, Defense and Health and Human Services were among those funded for the whole year. Among the seven that just got stopgap funding that expires on Dec. 7 was the Department of Homeland Security.

Now, the first thing that came to our mind when we read that DHS is an agency that is not funded for the year is, “What happens to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents on our border on Dec. 8? Do they just stay home?” We’d assume they are deemed to be people providing “essential services” and are, therefore, exempt.

The bigger problem, though, is the inability of the federal government to pass a comprehensive budget for a fiscal year. Yes, the fight over the wall would be a nasty one, but isn’t it better to have that fight once — instead of every three months?

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.

COMMENTS