End the government shutdown

Published 6:53 pm Saturday, January 19, 2019

To the editor:

I retired from USACE District, Vicksburg, in 2008. During my 35 years of service I went through a number of shut downs, potential loss of my job, and lack of funding for two or three quarters and then be required to finish the full year of work during the remaining time in the fiscal year after the bill was finally passed.  All of this no work, then rushing was very stressful.

Continuing resolutions would provide funding on the previous fiscal year projects but no funding for new projects.

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What I went through was similar to what is going on now due to the Democrats and Republican sides in the House and/or Senate not willing to compromise and/or just include “pork” and still limit the major item being protested. The politicians continue to believe that they know the best for the nation and the populous of America does not have the smarts to understand or do the work they do.

The majority of the people do disagree with what Congress is doing. A percentage of people have quit voting, just as they quit looking for a job between 2 and 15 years, since they thought they were invisible/they didn’t count. However, in the job market the percent of unemployed is staying about the same even when more people are being hired, due to a large number of those who quit looking for a job are getting back in the market.

The politicians have their blinders on because of the way “unemployed” is defined. This is the same reason why they can’t compromise on the border issue since when you are in a swamp you can’t see the world around you and unless you have a “guide” you can’t get out.

The inability of our elected leaders to compromise has led to the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. I am proud of my work as a federal employee in service to the country I love. Federal workers nationwide are forced to stay at home and wait for the government to reopen, and are no longer able to provide the services on which our fellow Americans rely.

Middle-class federal workers and their families are stretching their pennies until the shutdown is over. Even though pay will be restored eventually, bills still arrive on time even if paychecks don’t, and many federal employees are being forced to make difficult and unnecessary financial decisions to make ends meet.

Our legislators in Congress and the president need to stop playing political games with our government’s services and those who provide them. We are now in a crisis and our leaders must work to promptly reopen the government. We must call them to reach consensus immediately so committed federal employees across the nation and right here at home can get back to work for our country.

Dale Goss