SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - In just a few days, the federal government shutdown, now the longest in the history of our country, will reach the one month mark, with no end in sight.
Negotiations in Washington have hit a literal wall, while the families of the more than 800,000 workers who are furloughed or working without pay, including thousands in our communities, are trying to figure how they’re going to make their financial ends meet.
As a sign of support for those who are struggling, dozens of Senators and Representatives are refusing their congressional pay during the shutdown. Their attempt at making a statement to show their solidarity with the TSA workers, Coast Guard members and other federal workers is hollow at best. Very few of our leaders are dependent upon their congressional pay to pay their mortgage, put food on the table or get the medicines they need. Meanwhile, those we depend on to keep us safe, are now being ignored.
Consider this: we clearly need to do something to better secure our borders, but the thought that a wall will keep out people, hell-bent on entering our country illegally is no more logical than believing that tougher gun laws will keep guns out of the hands of criminals.
Let’s start by getting more funding for our incredibly weak points of entry so we can invest in the people and technology needed to secure those areas. And then, if more is needed, let’s have real discussions and not just the partisan political games with each side waiting for the other to blink.
In the meantime, the 800,000 people directly impacted by this shutdown and the rest of us who are indirectly impacted continue to be pawns in this political chess game that was destined to be a stalemate from the start.