Just get a deal done!
The government shutdown is over in Washington DC … at least for a couple of weeks.
Lawmakers agreed to a deal last week which will re-open the government for three weeks to allow government workers to receive much-needed backpay, while also allowing leaders in Congress to further negotiate a deal on the border security that President Donald Trump has coveted.
In an address from The White House lawn last week, Trump said that if unable to reach a deal in three weeks, he will declare a National Emergency to fund a border wall on the United States/Mexico border.
If unsuccessful in that endeavor, President Trump said the government would again shut down, which would put us right back at square one.
We, at The Times, are not affiliated with any political party. We do not endorse candidates and rarely do we take a decisive stand on any political issue.
Instead, we lay out the issue with both sides being given an equal voice. From there, we allow you, our readers, to form an opinion based on those facts.
But today, we will make a rare exception and take a stand.
At the end of the day, we are a local newspaper that serves the people of the Houma-Thibodaux area.
And we believe our responsibility is to look out for the people of our community and ensure the well-being of the area which our workers know and love.
As illustrated in our front-page story regarding the government shutdown, local people were affected and hurt by the government shutdown — some having to turn to local food banks to guarantee a warm meal.
For now, the situation is remedied. Back-pay will come in the coming days and locals will be able to pay bills, get out of the debts they’ve piled and life will return to normal … at least for three weeks.
Our challenge today is for all lawmakers — both Democrats and Republicans alike.
It’s time to stop the grudge.
It’s time to stop putting 2020 before the American people.
It’s time to come together, put differences aside and strike a deal to return normalcy to our government and the people it serves — the hundreds of millions of Americans who deserve better that what we’re being given now.
Border security is an issue that can be better in our country. That is bi-partisan — or at least in should be.
And it has been bi-partisan in the past.
In 2006, lawmakers passed the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which authorized about 700 miles of fencing along certain stretches of land along the border.
The act passed 80-19 and lawmakers on both sides helped to pass it — including former President (then-Senator) Barack Obama, former First Lady and Presidential candidate (also former Senator) Hillary Clinton and also Senator Chuck Schumer — still a prominent figure in the Democratic Party today.
In 2018, Democratic lawmakers also offered President Trump billions of dollars for a border wall in exchange for a provision that would grant protection from deportation for young undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. The deal would have also created a path for citizenship for those children.
It was declined by President Trump at the urging of Republican leadership — a large reason why we’re in the pickle we are today.
On the other side of the issue, we must ask Republican leadership to steer clear of distraction tactics that muddy the issue of border security and which distract the American people from the facts surrounding border security.
President Trump’s social media tone that all immigrants are criminals and that these people greatly contribute to crime, human trafficking and drugs are not reflected by stats.
In fact, the greatest number of undocumented citizens in our country came here legally — through Visas, which expired.
Some have committed crimes and are here for the wrong reasons, but they are largely a minority and the rhetoric has shaded that issue and has created an unjust hostility.
So whether we build a wall, don’t build a wall or find some other solution in between, we just ask our lawmakers — on all sides of the political arena — to please come together and get this done.
There are too many hard-working American people in need.
What has happened in the past several months is not American-like.
We can do better.
We must do better.
We deserve better.
So please, please, use these three weeks and get a damned deal done!