Stop squabbling and keep the government running - The Desert Trail: Editorials

Stop squabbling and keep the government running

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Posted: Thursday, January 25, 2018 11:32 am

We dodged the bullet this time.

The Morongo Basin escaped catastrophe Monday when a partial government shutdown, caused by a standoff in the United States Senate, was ended quickly by a compromise and approval of a temporary spending bill.

The bad news is the compromise that reopened the government did not solve the cause of the standoff and gave senators a scant three weeks to find a solution.

Our local economy is dependent on Joshua Tree National Park and the U.S. military, and we’re not alone. Many small communities across the country are built around national parks and other government entities, and we’re all critically damaged by the partisan arguments and government shutdown.

In our Basin, not only does the national park employ a lot of local workers as rangers, scientists and support staff, it also brings in tourists who contribute greatly to our businesses. That business grinds to a halt when the federal government shuts down. Even if the national park stays open during a shutdown, the NPS staff are furloughed and tourists visiting the park will find increasingly dirty and dangerous conditions. Not a situation to encourage further visits or spending.

In the meantime, our military families who protect our country are left wondering about their fate.

The last time the government shut down was in 2013, when the argument was over ObamaCare funding. At that time, the government shut down for 16 days while the people in D.C., whom we elect, could not reach an agreement. Our national park was closed, our military families were affected, and it damaged our tourist economy in all of the Morongo Basin.

At the heart of the standoff this time is how to handle the fate of thousands of young men and women who were brought to this country illegally as children and who have now built their lives here. Shame on our elected officials for using these humans and all of us as pawns in their chess game. They can find a solution without holding the rest of the country hostage.

Whether or not you support the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or the young men and women it is designed to protect, everyone can agree that another partial government shutdown, particularly one that lasts for more than a weekend, is in no one’s best interests.

That is exactly what we are facing if Republican and Democratic senators from both sides of the aisle decide to dig themselves in and hold firm to their positions again.

We urge our readers to contact their representatives and plead with them to consider the impact this has on millions of people, military families, government employees and many small communities.

Find common ground and stop squabbling before another shutdown takes place.

© 2018 Hi-Desert Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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