The 35-day partial government shutdown — the nation’s longest in history — ended just about two weeks ago, but already plans are being made locally and nationwide for another.
Kudos to leadership at Ruby’s Pop-up Pantry for acknowledging the local impact of the last shutdown and attempting to lessen it for those whose regular day-to-day financial struggles living in Borderland were made more difficult.
Kudos also go to the leadership of the U.S. House, which has added two days to its schedule next week in an attempt to be ready to act to fund the government by Feb. 15, the expiration date of the current continuing resolution which ended the last shutdown.
The change means the House will be in session all five weekdays next week, and leadership also made known what will happen if the House takes no action to fund the government by Friday, Feb. 15: it will meet through the weekend.
There were no clear winners as a result of the last shutdown. At issue is President Donald Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion in funding for a wall along the southern border. The president has threatened to shut down the government again or declare a national emergency to use defense funds to build the wall without an agreement on wall funding by Feb. 15.
And while the president has made clear he doubts a deal can be made, we’re encouraged and pleased members of a House-Senate conference committee formed to negotiate Homeland Security funding are continuing to work toward a solution.
We don’t know the exact number of people living in Borderland who rely directly on the federal government for a paycheck when they expect it, but we believe it’s a large number. That assumption is based on the people who work in Voyageurs National Park and who are involved in the many and varied activities involving the crossing of people and goods at the United States/Canada border and the Falls International Airport, among others.
Add to those folks the number of local people who own businesses that suffered from a lack of spending when federal paychecks were delayed and the number impacted grows even larger.
Like many, we hope the people we have elected to represent us in Washington DC will understand the impact to places like Borderland by their actions or inaction and do the right thing to avoid another shutdown.