Gov­ern­ment re­open­ing wel­comed

Antelope Valley Press (Sunday) - - Opinion -

Adeal in­volv­ing Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and con­gres­sional lead­ers will tem­po­rar­ily re­open the gov­ern­ment.

On Fri­day, the pres­i­dent an­nounced a deal that will restart shut­down agencies of the gov­ern­ment while talks con­tinue on his de­mand for wall money.

If a “fair deal” does not emerge by Feb.15, Trump said, there could be an­other shut­down or he would de­clare a na­tional emergency — a move that could al­low him to di­rect the mil­i­tary to build the wall with­out con­gres­sional con­sent. But such an ac­tion would likely face an im­me­di­ate le­gal chal­lenge.

The plan in­cludes none of the money for the wall that he de­manded and is es­sen­tially the same ap­proach that Trump re­jected at the end of De­cem­ber.

“We re­ally have no choice but to build a pow­er­ful wall or steel bar­rier,” Trump said in his talk in the Rose Gar­den. “If we don’t get a fair deal from Congress, the gov­ern­ment will ei­ther shut down on Feb. 15, or I will use the power af­forded to me un­der the laws and Con­sti­tu­tion of the United States to ad­dress this emergency.”

The cease-fire could make

Fri­day, Pres­i­dent Trump an­nounced a re­open­ing of all the fed­eral gov­ern­ment com­plexes that have been shut down for weeks. The pro­posal is tem­po­rary, but the is­sue must be re­solved so that we can rely on our fed­eral agencies through­out ev­ery year.

it pos­si­ble for the pres­i­dent to de­liver his State of the Union ad­dress to Congress af­ter all, but Speaker Nancy Pelosi said it would not be held on Jan. 29, as orig­i­nally sched­uled.

“The State of the Union is not planned now,” Pelosi said. “When gov­ern­ment is open, we will dis­cuss a mu­tu­ally agreeable date.”

In an­nounc­ing the change, Trump paid trib­ute to the fed­eral work­ers who have en­dured five weeks with­out pay, ex­press­ing sym­pa­thy for them in a way he had not pre­vi­ously spo­ken about.

“You are fan­tas­tic peo­ple,” he said. “You are in­cred­i­ble pa­tri­ots. Many of you have suf­fered far greater than anyone that your fam­i­lies un­der­stand.”

He promised to en­sure that work­ers will be com­pen­sated for the pay­checks they have missed since the shut­down be­gan in late De­cem­ber.

“I will make sure that all em­ploy­ees re­ceive their back­pay very quickly or as soon as pos­si­ble,” he said. “It will hap­pen fast.”

The is­sue of Trump’s re­quest for $5.7 bil­lion for a U.s.-mex­ico bor­der wall will be dis­cussed dur­ing the in­terim.

House Mi­nor­ity Leader Kevin Mccarthy, who rep­re­sents East Kern County and a por­tion of Los An­ge­les County in the An­te­lope Val­ley, said he be­lieves Trump’s threat of an­other shut­down is cred­i­ble.

“I be­lieve it i,” he said. “I hope calmer heads will pre­vail here.”

Trump said he was ask­ing Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Mitch Mccon­nell, R-ken­tucky, to put leg­is­la­tion on the floor im­me­di­ately to im­ple­ment the deal.

The im­pe­tus to reach a solution had clearly in­creased among law­mak­ers of both par­ties in re­cent days, as the mul­ti­ply­ing ef­fects of the shut­down have would know or be­come much more ap­par­ent — par­tic­u­larly among the 800,000 fed­eral em­ploy­ees fi­nan­cially hit by the no-pay­days shut­down.

There were re­ports Fri­day of sig­nif­i­cant de­lays at key air­ports in the north­east be­cause of ab­sences of un­paid air traf­fic con­trollers.

Fed­eral of­fi­cials tem­po­rar­ily re­stricted flights in and out of New York’s La Guardia Air­port, while trav­el­ers were grounded for ex­tended pe­ri­ods in other ci­ties, in­clud­ing Ne­wark and Philadel­phia.

The In­ter­nal Rev­enue Ser­vice was rocked by the shut­down. At least 14,000 un­paid work­ers in the IRS di­vi­sion that in­cludes tax pro­cess­ing and call cen­ters, did not slow up for work this past week, de­spite or­ders to do so, ac­cord­ing to two House aides.

The vast num­ber of fed­eral work­ers who were af­fected are not likely to vote for politi­cians that they blame for the pay­less weeks.

It’s ab­so­lutely vi­tal that gov­ern­ment stays open and run­ning year-round. Amer­i­cans across the land de­serve to have com­pe­tent fed­eral em­ploy­ees that we pay for with our taxes.

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