McConnell should work to end Trump’s shutdown

Published 1:40 pm Friday, January 25, 2019

The federal government shutdown is an unnecessary burden on America, causing great pain for those directly and indirectly affected. Everyone’s suffering. After 35 days, the shutdown has become a huge security and financial crisis. Debt pressures the unpaid government and contract workers. The knock-on effect on businesses small and large is biting hard. Hobbling the FBI, border control, Coast Guard, TSA, air traffic controllers, food safety inspectors etc. poses a real security threat to Americans while the declared crisis is a phony one. 

Sure there are border problems, but the shutdown is Trump’s trumped up political ploy and misstep.

Who will sort this out? Trump has given an ultimatum: My way or the government stays shut. Pelosi has given an ultimatum: Ppen the government and then we’ll negotiate. And Mitch McConnell has stayed hidden away for far too long, when the action by the Senate could have broken the logjam. He has hidden away hoping no one notices how pivotal he could be.

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Trump needs a lesson in how American government should operate — by compromise. It shouldn’t shut down over campaign symbols with little merit. Elected legislators have the power to pass legislation and to send it to the president. If the president vetoes it, Congress can override that veto.

With that power in mind, the leader of the Senate with his Republican majority can figure out a face-saving move for Trump, come up with a compromise and induce the president to accept it. 

If Trump cherry-picks on anyone who opposes him, they have given him that power. Republicans should unite and tip the balance to resolve this insane shutdown.

Unless Mitch McConnell exerts his leadership, he joins those culpable in increasingly plain sight.

Margaret Gardiner