Last week, I made a comment in a spot for Agribusiness Matters. I mentioned the fact that with a split in the leadership of both houses of Congress, we would either see a spirit of working together or the further digging in of heels. I felt we would know sooner rather than later, and I was right.
House Democrats have been working on spending bills to put an end to the government shutdown. Senate Republicans say these bills will not even be considered in their chamber. This sets the stage for the government shutdown to continue. Critics call the House bills, “symbolic” and “piecemeal.” These bills were set to secure funding for several agencies, including the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The White House says the President will not sign any spending bill which does not include provisions for strengthening border security or border wall funding. The Republican-led Senate will support this stance by not taking any action on bills without border funding.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says, “the senseless uncertainty and chaos of the Trump shutdown must end, now.” Republicans have countered by saying Democrats have been “flip-flopping on border security.” Charging certain Democratic leaders were in favor of increasing security on the border, “when it was their idea.”
It seems after 20 days of a government shutdown, we are not any closer to a solution which will restart government services or return furloughed employees back to work. Employees whose livelihoods have become a pawn in a dangerous game of political chess.