What a way to govern … not!
Congress is fighting over how to pay for immigration measures. It cannot settle a dispute over whether to pay for construction of a wall along our nation’s southern border or whether to extend protection for those U.S. residents who were brought here when they were children as their parents sneaked into the country illegally.
The consequence of this dispute?
The government might shut down — if only partially — in the next 24 hours.
Republicans who run both congressional chambers are scrambling to find yet another stop-gap solution that will delay the next shutdown threat for a couple of weeks.
Oh, and then we have the president of the United States. Donald J. Trump reportedly is a non-player in the negotiation over how to find a longer-term solution to this problem. Media reports say that Trump is making zero phone calls to congressional leaders, suggesting he’s leaving it exclusively up to lawmakers to find an answer.
Even congressional Republicans are complaining about the lack of a “reliable partner” in the White House.
I’m trying to imagine Lyndon Johnson leaving a matter such as this to Capitol Hill. The late former president came to the presidency after a distinguished career in the U.S. Senate. President Kennedy plucked him from his Senate majority leader post to run with him as vice president in 1960. LBJ never lost his congressional connections.
Trump, though, has none of that kind of history. Zero, man!
Effective governance is supposed to comprise a partnership between the legislative and executive branches of government. It’s not happening these days.
Republicans are barely talking to Democrats in Congress, and vice versa. The president, meanwhile, is maintaining a position that I suppose he might say is “above the fray.”
As a result, Congress might stumble and bumble its way to another short-term Band-Aid repair, only to wait for the next deadline to approach before we face yet another government shutdown threat.
How about trying this: Work together for a change in the hunt for common ground. Fund the government, repair the problem — and stop threatening to shut down a government that is supposed to serve all Americans all the time.