Man up, Dan
Congressman Dan Newhouse’s last newsletter to constituents suggests that we should all support President Trump’s shutdown of the government over his demand for $5.7 billion in funding for a border wall that he hasn’t been able to get in two years of Republican control of both Houses of Congress, and has always claimed would be paid for by Mexico. Well, if he wants a border wall, he can just go ask the Mexicans for the money. The U.S. government should not have to borrow an additional $5.7 billion from China just to stroke Trump’s vanity.
This is a completely made-up ‘“crisis.” The Senate GOP had already passed the spending bills without any money for a border wall before Trump went off the rails.
Newhouse should do his job, which is to represent the 4th District and the country as a whole, and in the process protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. That does not include massaging the fragile ego of a deeply flawed president, or to protect him from the consequences of his impetuous and dangerous policy gyrations.
Newhouse and other Republicans have accused President Obama of exceeding his executive authority and trying to become the ‘“imperial president.” If they believed that then, they should believe it now. Only the Congress can appropriate funding for the things that the federal government does. The Congress has not appropriated funds for the construction of the Trumpian Wall, and the President is not allowed to. If he cannot convince the Congress to pay for a particular expenditure, that is called “checks and balances.” If Obama had done anything remotely like this, Newhouse and his hypocritical cohorts would have been screaming bloody murder. Instead, all we get is another chapter in “Profiles in Cowardice.”
Newhouse needs to man up, take a risk and uphold the Constitution rather than Trump’s inflated ego. He may get ‘“primaried,” but so what? It’s certainly better than knowing that, at a critical time, he sided with a narcissistic, lying, disturbed, impetuous would-be dictator over his own country.
How low the Party of Lincoln has sunk.
Bill Pope, Mazama
Support federal workers
It’s time to show some gratitude to our federal government employees. You probably know some as friends or neighbors. Most are hard-working, dedicated folks. Now over 800,000 of them haven’t been paid for nearly a month. Half of them are being forced to work without pay. All this is because the president wants to build an outrageously expensive wall that our country doesn’t want or need.
Ironically, the president and the Republican majority in Congress could have forced a vote to build the wall long ago. They could have used a parliamentary technique called a budget reconciliation bill, allowed once per year. Instead, they used that strategy to create a massive tax cut for the rich and increase the future federal deficit by a trillion dollars or more
Over the years, federal workers have seen their real pay not keep up with the cost of inflation. Accounting tricks have been used to artificially lower cost-of-living calculations. They are an easy target for politicians eager to show they are “cutting government costs.” They can also be used as weapons (or victims!) in political fights totally unrelated to their work — like this one.
We owe a great debt to these people who work for the benefit of all of us and who aren’t recognized enough for that work.
Randy Brook, Twisp