Loading...
BYH to Greenville motorists. I checked the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence neither refer to an...

It's on Republicans to stop a shutdown

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

Loading…

Friday, January 12, 2018

I do not know why President Donald Trump and the Republican Party are so willing to shut down the government. Maybe they think it will be good for them politically. Maybe they believe the chaos created by a government shutdown would be a welcome distraction from the ongoing Russia investigation being conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Whatever the motives of the Republican leadership, one thing is clear: A government shutdown would be disastrous for the American people.

A shutdown would harm tens of millions of working-class families who would be unable to access vital services. It would disrupt the lives of hundreds of thousands of federal employees who would not receive the paychecks they expected. It would endanger members of the U.S. military who are putting their lives on the line defending our nation.

Congress has a responsibility to the American people to prevent a shutdown and work in a bipartisan manner to reach a fair budget agreement that addresses the very serious problems facing the working people of our country.

Unfortunately, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., ratcheted up threats of a government shutdown last week by insisting on ending the long-standing, bipartisan agreement over parity for defense and non-defense spending. This principle of parity is enormously important for working families and is something that cannot be terminated. If we do not act, funding for education, child care, health care, nutrition assistance, affordable housing and other important domestic programs will be at a 40-year low as a percentage of our economy.

As the middle class continues to shrink, cuts to non-defense spending would cause even worse economic pain to working families, the elderly, children, the sick and the most vulnerable. Meanwhile, as Trump and the Republicans demand an unbelievable $100 billion increase in military spending over the next two years, the Defense Department has been inoculated from budget cuts over the past several years because of the Overseas Contingency Operations loophole — a special account not subject to spending caps established by Congress in 2011.

Providing parity in these budget negotiations means, among other things, fully funding the Children's Health Insurance Program for 9 million kids and community health centers for 27 million Americans. It means increased funding for the Social Security Administration and the Veterans Administration and keeping our obligations to more than 1.5 million workers and retirees who are about to lose a large part of the pensions they were promised. It means addressing the crisis of student debt, expanding child care, improving our crumbling infrastructure in rural America and protecting our national parks. It means providing help in the national struggle against opioid and heroin addiction.

Furthermore, as part of the budget negotiations, we must also provide adequate disaster relief to Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, as well as assistance to the Western states recovering from terrible wildfires.

Finally, Trump added even more fuel to the fire when he decided to use 800,000 "dreamers" as a bargaining chip for an $18 billion wall that the overwhelming majority of Americans do not want. These dreamers are young people who have lived in this country for almost their entire lives. They go to school. They work. They serve in the U.S. military. The United States is their home; they know no other. For Trump and the Republican leadership to allow their legal status to expire, and to subject them to deportation, would be one of the cruelest acts in modern American history. It must not be allowed to happen.

The American people are increasingly disgusted with a government that protects the interests of the wealthy and the powerful, while ignoring the needs of the vulnerable. The U.S. government must do more than provide huge tax breaks to billionaires, callously deport young people, greatly expand military spending, end net neutrality, deny the reality of climate change and threaten to cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, education and nutrition programs. We must pass a budget agreement that addresses the needs of Americans and not just billionaire campaign contributors.

Bernie Sanders, an independent, represents Vermont in the U.S. Senate.

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Op Ed

April 24, 2018

In the early 1980s, I did a lot of advance work for Vice President George H.W. Bush. Routinely, Barbara Bush would be on the trip, and I would often be assigned to manage part of her schedule. Not wanting to be presumptuous, I always made it a point to introduce myself to Mrs. Bush. I have a vivid…

EdRogers

April 23, 2018

Most of us don't have to deal with the most troubled agency in North Carolina government, but the crisis in our state prison system is bad enough to make headlines nearly every week.

The attention largely stems from the October 2017 inmate attack at the Pasquotank Correctional Institution in…

Colin Campbell

April 23, 2018

Washington Post

The day after the Parkland, Florida, school shooting focused renewed attention on the issue of gun violence, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott, R, reiterated his opposition to any new restrictions on gun ownership. But just 24 hours later, Scott announced a change of heart. Now he has signed…

April 23, 2018

Two surveys popped up this week that seem to show improved prospects for Republican House candidates this November. Disregard them!

A Washington Post/ABC News poll released on Monday showed that 47 percent of registered voters prefer the Democratic candidate in their district, as against 43 percent…

albert hunt

April 23, 2018

The United States spends more on health care than any other industrialized country but doesn’t get better results, as measured by average life expectancy. Have you heard this claim before? Did you respond with agreement or skepticism?

In recent years, I’ve devoted much study and…

April 22, 2018

Let's set the scene: A woman is representing constituents, changing Senate rules, raising two small children. She was a U.S. Army helicopter pilot and the first female double amputee from the Iraq War. The first in many things, including being the first sitting senator to give birth, she's now the…

Amy Joyce

April 22, 2018

For the first time in the history of the republic, it appears increasingly likely that a majority of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will vote against the president's nominee for secretary of state. If this happens, it would be a black mark not on Mike Pompeo's record, but on the reputation…

Marc Thiessen

April 21, 2018

Los Angeles Times

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled in a case from California that if a law is deemed to be so vague that it is impossible for the government to use it to impose a prison sentence, then it is also too vague to be used to deport a lawful permanent resident. It was another welcome…

April 21, 2018

What should we expect when we invest $150 million in reading programs for our elementary students? I’m not sure what the objectives were, but I am pretty certain the results weren’t what anyone wanted.

In 2011, North Carolina’s legislative leadership recognized our reading crisis.…

Tom Campbell.jpg

April 21, 2018

 

It's good that Starbucks, with its announcement this week that it will close thousands of stores for a day of "racial bias training" in May, is taking steps in the right direction after a video of two black men getting arrested in one of its coffee shops went viral. But white America's habit…

Karen Attiah
287 stories in Op Ed. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 29
        Next Page»   Last Page»