I sent this letter to our senior Senator from Texas today.
Dear Senator Cornyn:
It’s long past time for you to exercise some leadership and state publicly that this shutdown is bad for the country—and to stop casting blame but find a deal. There is a deal to be had. (I am not calling it a “compromise” because that’s a dirty word to some; nor am I calling it a “win” because that, too, is a dirty word when gifted to political adversaries).
- $ 5.7 billion for “border security” to be spent however the Administration decides. One hopes the President and his “advisers” will spend it wisely (and that means very little for a “wall”), but that will be in the Executive’s discretion.
- A DACA solution that allows all “Dreamers” to ultimately become true American citizens. All of them, so long as they were younger than 18 when they came to the United States. You must know that the original DREAM legislation had bipartisan support; it was co-sponsored by Orrin Hatch (not exactly a liberal). The bill should be exactly as proposed way back in 2001.
- End the current chokehold on H-1B visas (which you must know is absurd, damaging to American competitiveness and also hurts our overseas influence).
- Reopen the Government. Even with the Administration’s transparent attempt to mitigate selectively the burdens of the shutdown, it affects all of us, not just the 2,000,000 Americans in 800,000 households who are missing paychecks (which they need to pay rent, mortgages, and credit card bills for Christmas presents). As just one example, shutting down a terminal at IAH (see enclosed clipping)* is just the kind of dangerous stupidity we need to end.
This is a deal that requires everyone to swallow hard and accept. The question is, are you courageous enough to propose it publicly?
Lee L. Kaplan
*See for example, https://www.chron.com/business/bizfeed/article/TSA-closes-security-checkpoint-at-IAH-Terminal-B-13530619.php
The partial government shutdown started early morning on December 22. We are now two weeks into a government shutdown that has left 800,000 employees without paychecks (although many of them are expected to work without pay during that time). That’s 800,000 employees – but we should think of them as belonging to 800,000 households. At 2.6 persons per average American household, that’s over 2,000,000 Americans. The Americans in those affected households undoubtedly bought Christmas presents, often with credit cards. How many of them are receiving Visa and MasterCard bills they cannot pay? How many of those Americans could not pay their rent at the first of this month?
For a man who routinely brags (falsely) about saving jobs, he’s not doing very well. President Trump, who stated bluntly that he would be “proud to shut down the government for border security,” that he would “take the mantle,” that he would “be the one to shut it down,” and not blame Chuck Schumer or Nancy Pelosi for it, now takes a different tune. But does any rational person believe him? Let’s also not forget that, during this same time frame, the President even lied to soldiers, telling them he had gotten them their biggest pay raise–10%–in 10 years. He’s just a serial liar. (But I digress.)
The pettiness that has brought the country to this point is staggering. But what is even more staggering, and truly despicable, is the utter cruelty that a coddled millionaire (or maybe billionaire, who really knows?) is willing to visit upon regular Americans who work for our government, all out of personal pique. So I have just one more question. Other than Mitt Romney, is there a single Republican in the United States Senate who will speak out against this pettiness and this cruelty?