The government shutdown over funding for a border wall is tied for the third longest on record.
Security for ‘Dreamers’ in exchange for border funding
By Mark Holden
There is a way out of the standoff over the partial government shutdown, and it has been staring Congress and the White House in the face for months. It’s a perfectly logical political trade-off.
The president gets the $5.7 billion he wants to continue work on border security. The “Dreamers” get the certainty to realize their dreams — the kind that comes with knowing they have a permanent place in the American story.
Brought here illegally at a young age by their parents, they have seized the opportunity America has given them to become productive members of our society. Returning them to a country they do not know would be a moral travesty and an economic folly.
With the partial shutdown hanging over their heads, can our leaders rediscover the legislative talent of compromise?
Talker: The shutdown is hurting people, leaving Americans in uncertainty
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We think so, and we are joined by a growing chorus of support for such a deal. The key to unlocking the gridlock — and the doors of dozens of federal agencies and departments — is good old-fashioned bargaining.
We know bipartisanship can still work. Enactment of prison reform legislation in the closing days of the last Congress was proof that lawmakers can overcome their differences and solve a problem.
Just as we did in that case, we’re prepared to stand with the president and any member of Congress in a broad coalition in support of a deal that is overwhelmingly supported by the American people. Most people think our border security is inadequate. Most people want Dreamers to be allowed to stay permanently in the USA. Most people aren’t too happy about the government shutting down.
It’s not too late to get this unnecessary stalemate back on track — and we’re confident our leaders can find their way to it. The path to a budget deal runs along the southern border.
Mark Holden is chairman of the board at Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce. You can follow the group on Twitter: @FreedomPartners.
What others are saying
Samantha Vinograd, CNN.com: “We’re operating with at least 380,000 fewer government employees who are furloughed because of the shutdown. They’re not on ‘strike,’ as President Donald Trump mistakenly said. Instead, they are not authorized to work while the shutdown lasts. This means that crucial jobs that could directly impact Americans’ security are on hold, indefinitely.”
Timothy L. O’Brien, Bloomberg: “In Trump’s professional life, his inept dealmaking often came home to roost in unmanageable debts and serial bankruptcies. In his more recent political and presidential life it has revealed itself through bungled, hapless efforts to overturn the Affordable Care Act; forge a nuclear agreement with North Korea; wage trade wars with China, Mexico and Canada; retain control of the House of Representatives; turn military and diplomatic strategy on its head; lay siege to sensible immigration policy; and, now, force a government shutdown to secure funding for a prized project — a wall along the U.S. southern border.”
Sarah Binder, The Washington Post: “For the third week in a row, the government remains partly shut down. … Democrats don’t seem in a hurry to negotiate, probably betting that the public will blame Republicans for the shutdown. If that comes true, expect Democrats to refuse to concede an inch on the border wall, although some fuzzy language to spend more on border security could allow Trump to claim victory regardless of the details of a deal.”
What our readers are saying
President Donald Trump better not compromise on the border wall. That wall is absolutely necessary! Democrats decided long ago that if voters wouldn’t give them absolute power, they would import those who would.
— Clay L. Herbert
All the bills not passed to fund the government were due in 2018. Let’s see, who was in charge of the Congress then? Oh, wait! It was Republicans who didn’t do the most basic job of government. No wonder they got clobbered in the last election. Pretty hard to blame Democrats when it was the GOP that refused Trump’s wall.
— Jim Jensen
One shutdown had to be the longest, and I hope this is it. Unless money for the wall comes first.
— Greg Cochran
Democrats need to build the wall. Plain and simple. They need to quit being obstructionist and do their job. Give Trump the money for the wall, or get out of government because you’re no good.
— Judith Guarino
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