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Mr. Trump and Congress: It’s time to compromise

Americans are not pawns in a political battle between 536 officials, and should not be treated as such.

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Mr. Trump and Congress: It’s time to compromise

PHOTO COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA CREATIVE COMMONS

PHOTO COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA CREATIVE COMMONS

PHOTO COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA CREATIVE COMMONS

PHOTO COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA CREATIVE COMMONS

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For many, the holidays are a great time to unwind from stress, travel, spend time with family, and drink hot chocolate. However, for thousands of federal workers and thousands of others dependent on federal funds, this holiday period has been a source of stress due to ruined family vacations, struggles to pay critical bills, and political turmoil.

On December 22, the Senate failed to pass a bill that included border wall funding in the budget for the next fiscal year. As a result, Trump refused to sign a budget into policy, causing a government shutdown. Though federal departments have been surviving off emergency funds, according to Fox News, the shutdown has been damaging most departments, including the US Department of Agriculture that struggles to continue providing loans to farmers and homeowners, and national parks that scramble to remain adequately staffed to protect both visitors and wildlife.

Despite claims from libertarian such as the Cato Institute that a border wall would be wasteful, harmful, and ineffective, our president is willing to shut down the government over a lack of ability to fulfill his campaign promise. Because of this, thousands of unemployed federal works have been told by the government to resort to methods such as garage sales, babysitting, and dog walking in order to make ends meet. Unless Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are willing to support funds for a border wall, Trump refuses to support a funding bill in order to allow the reopening of the government.

Essentially, our political system has endangered the well being of thousands of Americans over the hurt feelings of a few. Put simply by Washington Post Opinions Writer Paul Waldman, “[Democrats are] willing to offer more money for border security, but they need to be able to say, to themselves and their constituents, that they didn’t give Trump his stupid wall, at the same time that Trump needs to say that he got his big, beautiful wall.”

Unfortunately, this complicates the chances of a resolution. Compromise is critical, but it is significantly less likely when egos are on the line.

After a winter break, House of Representatives is finally reconvening this Thursday in an attempt to pass a new funding bill. But, it is currently unclear as to whether this will fund a wall, fence, or another form of border security.

One thing is clear: the government cannot stay shut down. Americans who live paycheck to paycheck cannot be forced into a position where they continue to sacrifice basic needs over paying bills, and many departments will be severely harmed without funding.

No policy, especially an ineffective border wall, is worth the suffering hundreds of thousands of Americans experience daily as a result of the shutdown. Republicans must be willing to give up their fantasy border wall for a less aggressive manner of border security. The list of possibilities is endless: improve training for border officials, implement advanced technology at ports of entry to decrease trafficking, optimize legal immigration processes to decrease the number of people resorting to illegal methods, and conduct diplomatic efforts with Mexico prevent people from entering. A solution between parties is possible, and must be accomplished. At the very least, both parties should be willing to open the government, and determine funding allocation for the border wall as federal workers are able to receive wages, national parks can stay safely open, and federal departments can function.

Americans are not pawns in a political battle between 536 officials, and should not be treated as such.

Interested in responding? Submit your letters using this google form! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact [email protected] or reach out to Rebecca Huang, Shevani Tewari, or Ashley Ye directly!

About the Writer
Shevani Tewari, Opinions Editor

As a girl with a lot of feelings, Shevani is excited to be a co-editor for what is clearly the best section: Opinions. She has written for this incredible...

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Mr. Trump and Congress: It’s time to compromise