Dear United States Senators,
I wanted to write and remind you of the way our government works. It has three separate branches that exist in order to make the country a better place. Each can provide a check on the other while also using their own processes to address vital issues that may require attention.
Today, as we begin the new year, we find ourselves mired in a government shutdown. This type of dysfunction between the legislative and executive branches has real-world repercussions on every day citizens. 800,000 workers are being affected, markets are falling with the instability, and America's image as a world leader is taking a huge hit when we have this kind of infighting.
I understand how we got here. The executive branch had campaigned on building a border wall. He had recently sat down in the Oval office with the leaders of the Democratic Party to demand funding for his wall, which they both openly refused.
The two houses of Congress had reached agreements to fund the government, and neither had included money for a border wall. There was $1.3-1.6 billion dollars for border security in the budget, but specifics that precluded that money from being used for a wall.
Upon hearing this, conservative blowhards Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh sounded off about how Trump needed to fulfill his campaign promise and get the wall or lose his base forever. Panicked, he called a meeting of his House loyalists who scurried back to their branch and rewrote the funding bill, including five billion dollar for the wall.
As expected, the Senate did not have the sixty votes needed to approve the amended funding bill and the government shut down.
The thing myself, and many Americans, are wondering is why you're letting the executive branch do things that clearly harm America? You have a process to do the right thing here. If you truly want the government open, you have the power to override the executive branch's whims. And let's be clear, this is a whim.
One could argue that the money would be well-spent. Of course, that case would be bolstered if the executive branch had a solid plan of what type of wall they want, where they need to put it to be most effective, and how such walling has contributed to halting the flow of illegal crossings. None of which the executive branch has provided.
Without proper planning, this plan resembles the shovel-ready jobs program Congress funded during Obama's first term. There is bipartisan agreement that was a waste of taxpayer money and there are fears this wall project is heading down the same pathway.
Next, within the $1.3-1.6 billion, I believe there were options for adding fencing. This should be how we proceed. Moderately, over time, with results tracked and improvements made based on the data.
Our country has a national debt over $21 trillion and with increases in spending by Congress and the executive branch this past year and the loss of revenue from the latest trickle down attempt, the deficit was $779 billion last year and will balloon to a trillion this coming year.
There are also reports that our own infrastructure is on the verge of failing. It currently gets a D+ rating and we should be embarrassed by that. Where is the money to address this issue? It's long past time the government made better spending decisions.
Lastly, how does anyone think that appropriating five billion dollars to a project proposed by a man who committed felony campaign finance law crimes to get elected is a good plan? The same man who illegally misused charity funds on his campaign to get elected to office and had to shut down his foundation as a result. And those are just two of the fifteen investigations pertaining to the person proposing this outlandish spending adventure.
As news emerges that the executive branch will be campaigning in the 2020 presidential election on the slogan of 'promises made, promises kept,' it seems fairly obvious that failure to get this funding will undermine that message greatly. There will be no way for Trump to back down on this shutdown as he has painted himself into a corner.
Therefore, it will be left to the actual adults to put an end to the shutdown. News of Democrat-written funding bills will be put forth from the House of Representatives as soon as Congress returns from the holidays. Reports say there will be multiple options. The American people are clear in that 58% of people polled say the executive should remove the request for wall funding.
The Senate is still GOP-controlled and its majority lead, Mitch McConnell, has been a strong supporter of the Trump agenda. Since Trump hijacked the Republican Party in the last election, McConnell has been afraid to go against him in any way shape or form.
In some ways, that's why the midterms were such a disaster for the Republican Party. Americans want to see Congress stand up to the corruption that is visible in this administration. They want someone to thwart the chaos emanating from the Oval Office that forces a $12 billion bailout to farmers because of poor economic policies, a change in foreign policy strategy that doesn't consult the Joint Chiefs or our Allies (Syria), and the constant turnover of staff unable to tolerate working for such a buffoon.
This is the moment for the Senate to wrest control back of their party. It's time to take a stand and put the country above the whims of a man who seems functionally illiterate in that he can't spell basic words and refuses to read intelligence reports necessary for the office he holds. One that will continue to be under the scrutiny of investigation for the foreseeable future and has been named Individual-1 already in a felony indictment.
It's time to decide if you want to govern or be governed by a corrupt and morally bankrupt human being. Party or Country.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.