Senator Alexander: A Reasonable Proposal To End The Government Shutdown

Sunday, January 20, 2019 - by Senator Lamar Alexander

A government shutdown is always the wrong idea. It is the wrong idea under President Trump, just as it was the wrong idea under President Obama. Members of Congress should first remember that when a president who has been duly elected by the people of the United States -- whatever you may think of him or her -- has a legitimate objective, it is our responsibility to do everything we can to accommodate that objective, if we want a result. 

This week, the President proposed a sensible compromise, including relief for “dreamers,” to end this inexcusable government shutdown. It is time for Democrats to respect the president’s reasonable requests for border security including 234 new miles of physical barrier. Presidents Obama, George W. Bush, Clinton and George H.W. Bush, with bi-partisan congressional support, built 654 miles of physical barriers along our 1,954 mile southern border. Why is President Trump the only president not allowed to build more wall?

I’m hopeful Congress will pass the President’s proposal and reopen the government. In the meantime, it’s wrong for federal employees to work and not get a paycheck. That’s why I cosponsored the Pay Excepted Personnel Act -- legislation to ensure the over 400,000 federal employees who are required to work during the shutdown can receive their paycheck. 

Senator Lamar Alexander


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