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Commentary: The Federal Government is open. How long will that be?

James B. Ewers Jr.

Commentary: The Federal Government is open. How long will that be?
February 07
10:36 2019

If you are returning from a place without the Internet, I am pleased to inform you that the United States government is now fully operational. The government shutdown, which lasted for over a month, is now over.

Should we cheer, be ashamed, or pause before we do either?

If you live in this country or are a federal worker, then let’s cheer and shout because the business of the people will resume now. The reports say 800,000 federal workers were affected by this temporary stoppage.

We know the reason for the shutdown was because the sitting president of this country wanted a wall built to stop illegal immigration. He made promises while he was running for the office and nothing is going to stop him. It didn’t matter to him that employees of the federal government – our government – were about to lose their homes and their lifestyles were being altered. This was happening suddenly and without warning.

Over 50 percent of the people blamed the president for this fiasco.

The State of the Union address, originally scheduled a few weeks ago, was put on the shelf by Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House of Representatives. She pretty much told Mr. T not to come into the house chambers with that foolishness. Her reaction was to him shutting down the federal government. The date of the address was moved back to Tuesday, Feb. 5.

However, while many of us think we are living in some difficult days, there are others who cheered his decision to close it and are now booing his decision now that it has reopened. Of course, there are some who have no shame and whose bar of humanity is at ground zero.

When the government reopened, the president made it sound as if it was of his making. Wrong! Many in his party were hearing from their constituents who were disgruntled and dissatisfied.  Mr. T and his cronies had no choice.

Now, the good news is 800,000 federal workers are back at work. No more food lines to stand in, no more missed mortgage notes and car loans. Normalcy has returned, but only temporarily.

In the president’s announcement, Feb. 15 is the deadline to secure a deal regarding the border wall. If not, the government will collapse again. He said, “We have a tremendous amount of money to build a wall. In addition to that, we can declare a national emergency if this doesn’t work out.”

In my opinion, we are headed to a political showdown. Votes, not guns, will be the weapons used. Mr. T is going to use his bully pulpit for all that it’s worth. With this bloviating, where does this leave federal workers who just returned to work? Will it be back to missed paychecks and missed payments?

America, in my opinion, can’t afford another misstep. It takes away from the brand we call the USA. Reports say we lost millions of dollars as a result of this shutdown. Our status in the world is being questioned again. Our leaders are being criticized for incompetence and insensitivity. We can’t go through this again.

The day of reckoning is coming soon. The pied piper will be trolling the halls of Congress and the Office of the President.

Will we stay open or be closed again? That is the question.

James B. Ewers Jr. Ed.D. is a former tennis champion at Atkins High School in Winston-Salem and played college tennis at Johnson C. Smith University, where he was all-conference for four years.  He is a retired college administrator.  He can be reached at ewers.jr56@nullyahoo.com.

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