The shutdown to end all shutdowns

By

Opinion

January 28, 2019 - 10:07 AM

President Trump’s unprecedented shutdown ended as it began: as a pointless assault from within on the United States’ government, workers, economy and security. Five weeks after Trump forced the partial shutdown, he accepted the same deal he could have made without crippling the government he was elected to run.

The agreement will reopen the shuttered agencies for three weeks, pending negotiations on border security, without providing any of the billions for a border wall that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her fellow Democrats rightly refused to discuss while the closure continued. It was much the same legislation that the then-Republican-controlled Congress and Trump himself contemplated before Christmas — and before a right-wing media outcry pushed the president into a reversal to which GOP lawmakers largely deferred.

Trump’s capitulation Friday, clearing the way for back pay to roughly 800,000 federal workers, came as they missed a second paycheck. About half the unpaid employees were deemed essential and had to work, limiting their ability to earn money by other means. The rest were furloughed and will cost taxpayers billions in lost services. Many federal contract workers, meanwhile, will never recover the lost wages.

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