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Dear Senators

Author:
dear-senators

Dear United States Senators,

I wanted to write and remind you of the way our government works. It has three separate branches that exist in order to make the country a better place. Each can provide a check on the other while also using their own processes to address vital issues that may require attention.

Today, as we begin the new year, we find ourselves mired in a government shutdown. This type of dysfunction between the legislative and executive branches has real-world repercussions on every day citizens. 800,000 workers are being affected, markets are falling with the instability, and America's image as a world leader is taking a huge hit when we have this kind of infighting.

I understand how we got here. The executive branch had campaigned on building a border wall. He had recently sat down in the Oval office with the leaders of the Democratic Party to demand funding for his wall, which they both openly refused.

The two houses of Congress had reached agreements to fund the government, and neither had included money for a border wall. There was $1.3-1.6 billion dollars for border security in the budget, but specifics that precluded that money from being used for a wall.

Upon hearing this, conservative blowhards Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh sounded off about how Trump needed to fulfill his campaign promise and get the wall or lose his base forever. Panicked, he called a meeting of his House loyalists who scurried back to their branch and rewrote the funding bill, including five billion dollar for the wall.

As expected, the Senate did not have the sixty votes needed to approve the amended funding bill and the government shut down.

dear-senators

The thing myself, and many Americans, are wondering is why you're letting the executive branch do things that clearly harm America? You have a process to do the right thing here. If you truly want the government open, you have the power to override the executive branch's whims. And let's be clear, this is a whim.

One could argue that the money would be well-spent. Of course, that case would be bolstered if the executive branch had a solid plan of what type of wall they want, where they need to put it to be most effective, and how such walling has contributed to halting the flow of illegal crossings. None of which the executive branch has provided.

Without proper planning, this plan resembles the shovel-ready jobs program Congress funded during Obama's first term. There is bipartisan agreement that was a waste of taxpayer money and there are fears this wall project is heading down the same pathway.

Next, within the $1.3-1.6 billion, I believe there were options for adding fencing. This should be how we proceed. Moderately, over time, with results tracked and improvements made based on the data.

Our country has a national debt over $21 trillion and with increases in spending by Congress and the executive branch this past year and the loss of revenue from the latest trickle down attempt, the deficit was $779 billion last year and will balloon to a trillion this coming year.

There are also reports that our own infrastructure is on the verge of failing. It currently gets a D+ rating and we should be embarrassed by that. Where is the money to address this issue? It's long past time the government made better spending decisions.

Lastly, how does anyone think that appropriating five billion dollars to a project proposed by a man who committed felony campaign finance law crimes to get elected is a good plan? The same man who illegally misused charity funds on his campaign to get elected to office and had to shut down his foundation as a result. And those are just two of the fifteen investigations pertaining to the person proposing this outlandish spending adventure.

dear-senators

As news emerges that the executive branch will be campaigning in the 2020 presidential election on the slogan of 'promises made, promises kept,' it seems fairly obvious that failure to get this funding will undermine that message greatly. There will be no way for Trump to back down on this shutdown as he has painted himself into a corner.

Therefore, it will be left to the actual adults to put an end to the shutdown. News of Democrat-written funding bills will be put forth from the House of Representatives as soon as Congress returns from the holidays. Reports say there will be multiple options. The American people are clear in that 58% of people polled say the executive should remove the request for wall funding.

The Senate is still GOP-controlled and its majority lead, Mitch McConnell, has been a strong supporter of the Trump agenda. Since Trump hijacked the Republican Party in the last election, McConnell has been afraid to go against him in any way shape or form.

In some ways, that's why the midterms were such a disaster for the Republican Party. Americans want to see Congress stand up to the corruption that is visible in this administration. They want someone to thwart the chaos emanating from the Oval Office that forces a $12 billion bailout to farmers because of poor economic policies, a change in foreign policy strategy that doesn't consult the Joint Chiefs or our Allies (Syria), and the constant turnover of staff unable to tolerate working for such a buffoon.

This is the moment for the Senate to wrest control back of their party. It's time to take a stand and put the country above the whims of a man who seems functionally illiterate in that he can't spell basic words and refuses to read intelligence reports necessary for the office he holds. One that will continue to be under the scrutiny of investigation for the foreseeable future and has been named Individual-1 already in a felony indictment.

It's time to decide if you want to govern or be governed by a corrupt and morally bankrupt human being. Party or Country.

Comments

JOC (author) from Syracuse, NY on January 10, 2019:

So you are saying that the military, who is government funded, doesn't have a research and development budget? Innovation can be done if resources are allocated for it.

Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on January 09, 2019:

Yes, I agree. But then, you will also loose the new drugs and medical devices and machines going forward. It is the profit motive that drives companies to innovate and invest...once the profit is removed, why would anyone take a risk?

JOC (author) from Syracuse, NY on January 09, 2019:

It's only contrary if the health companies need to raise costs to continue to make the same absurd profit margins they aim for. Take away health for profit,socialize medicine, and you will bring the costs down as you see in many other developed nations.

Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on January 09, 2019:

The cost was going up all along prior to ACA, and it got worst after ACA, my deductible went up and the coverage went don from 80% to 75% of my medical expenses...

The whole ACA affordable Care Act was sold to us to save $2000 on average... I never got those savings. It was a lie. There is no way they can increase coverage for 30 more million people and keep the cost the same or lower. It is contrary to laws of mathematics.

JOC (author) from Syracuse, NY on January 09, 2019:

But did your costs increase any more than they were already rising? How much do you earn in salary and has the added cost put you into financial ruin?

Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on January 09, 2019:

Leslie, That story is one sided...

I am worst off and many of my friends and family members.

My cost have gone up, my coverage is less in terms of deductables...

Luckily I am healthy and don’t need much care or drugs...

We are the 90% of Americans who are paying for the added 10% who were not covered before. Stats have shown 70-80% of these newly covered are getting it subsidized partly or wholely by the tax payer. That is why this system is unsustainable.

I guess I don’t count as long as you get your free healthcare.

Leslie McCowen from Cape Cod, USA on January 09, 2019:

https://www.healthinsurance.org/blog/2014/10/25/th...

Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on January 09, 2019:

I agree parts of the ACA have helped some Americans but the 2000 plus page mostrosity of a bill was not the right answer. It is financially unsustainable over the long term. That is why it was designed to be fully implemented 10 years after signing the bill in 2010.

Now it is up to Trump to fix this bad bill.

I have as much compassion as the next guy. But my health insurance coverage went down while my premiums went up...

I would have been happy if they expanded Medicaid to cover the 10% without insurance,

Instead of messing up the healthcare for the 90%.

JOC (author) from Syracuse, NY on January 09, 2019:

Did I care that our government wanted to help people get health care and protect Americans with pre-existing conditions? No, because unlike you, I have empathy for those who needed the government to help them with this. And afterward, I read the many testimonials publicly written to GOP reps from their constituents saying how the ACA had saved their lives.

Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on January 08, 2019:

Just curious, did you send a similar letter to Senators in 2010 when they forced the ACA down American’s throat without a single GOP vote? Talking about polls, 60% of the public did not want that bill...

Did you care then?

Your talking points is so obvious that it was copied word for word from a dozen or so news media about how Coulter and Limbaugh pursuaded Trump to hold steady on the wall funding...and shut the government.

For someone who claims to know how government works, you don’t seem to know much...about history. Government has shut down many times in the past from both parties in power...and the last three times it was shut, the stock market went up and so it did this time as well.

Leslie McCowen from Cape Cod, USA on January 01, 2019:

Its pretty obvious the senate republicans only work for their donors and Trump.

The tax cuts had to pass, or their donors threatened to stop funding their campaigns:

Saudi prince got away with bone saw murder, and we still luv him:

Trump gets to collect tax monies for his private biz.

All for tax cuts.

They only care about the deficit when a Democrat is president.

The only way these senators act is if its in their interest to do so.

And so far, the donors are very happy with Trump. Why change anything?

They're not worried. The tax cuts are being paid for by ordinary Americans. Pay freeze for fed employees, including military. Higher taxes on working poor, and check out their proposed budget:

https://www.ncpssm.org/documents/social-security-p...

Plus i read the rnc is planning to merge with Trump, and remove any other possible candidates for prez 2020.....im sure youve seen Putin over in Russia.....wants to expand his term of office....remove limits. Ole Trump must be drooling at that.

Lastly, if a certain wingnut comes around here harassing and bullying you on my account, feel free to delete this comment.

DW Davis from Eastern NC on January 01, 2019:

I do hope you sent a copy of this letter to the Senate leadership.