Editorial Boards Continue to Slam Trump Shutdown

We are more than a month into the longest shutdown in our nation’s history, and the American people have had enough. In fact, even Trump supporters are sick and tired of Trump’s temper tantrum, and editorial boards across the country continue to take the president to task for keeping nearly 800,000 federal workers furloughed or working without pay.


Houston Chronicle: “Reopening the government should be treated as a separate issue from deciding what to do at the U.S.-Mexico border. It’s time to stop holding people hostage in this fight merely because they work for the government.”


Kansas City Star: “Low-income households will suffer the most. Their food benefits could be cut back considerably in March and then eliminated altogether in April if the shutdown continues, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. No family should go hungry in this country. But those in need could become collateral damage if the government remains shuttered and the philanthropic community can’t fill the void.”


Newburyport News: “Members of the Coast Guard are first responders at sea who aren’t paid what they’re worth in the best of circumstances, and now get paid nothing. The collective instinct to help them weather this government shutdown, with tip jar collections or donation drives or formal actions of the Legislature, is noble. After all, these are members of our community, and we who live near the coast rely upon their service most. But the Massachusetts Legislature, city hall, local clubs and the people down at the coffee shop aren’t responsible for paying the Coast Guard. That duty falls to Congress and the president.”


Los Angeles Times: “This week, Trump’s Council of Economic Advisers estimated that the partial government shutdown was slowing the U.S. economy by about one-eighth of 1% per week. That may not sound like much, but the debilitating effect is twice as great as the White House had previously suggested. Economists had projected growth to be anemic in the first quarter of 2019 even without a shutdown; if the impasse continues for another month or so, the economy could actually start to contract.The credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s put the shutdown’s cost to the U.S. economy at about $1.2 billion per week.”


Lowell Sun: “The demoralizing experience of being told to work without pay, for almost a month so far, can only cause many of these key security personnel to reconsider their commitments to government service. Others will be deterred from joining in the first place. Yes, employees will get back pay. But how does the federal government get back its reputation as a stable and, indeed, rational employer?”


San Francisco Chronicle: “In fact, Trump is the author of this longest shutdown in history — now entering its fifth week and likely to reach a full month — with more than a little help from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who won’t allow votes to reopen shuttered agencies without the president’s permission.”


York Dispatch: “The proposals — crafted by a handful of Republican insiders led by the president’s son-in-law, White House advisor Jared Kushner — seem intended not so much to end the shutdown as to shift the blame, which has increasingly and correctly landed at the doorstep of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Serious compromise should be conducted with the opposing party, not delivered as a take-it-or-leave-it public pronouncement[…] If Trump ever decides to get serious about ending the standoff, he must negotiate directly with Democratic leaders. And that doesn’t mean demanding money for a border wall and then storming out when he doesn’t get his wish.”


Columbus Dispatch: “Some in Trump’s orbit believed he was nervous about the economy and fretting about the negative coverage he was getting over the showdown; others close to the president were encouraging him to stay the course, believing he had leverage. That’s not how it looks from 3,000 miles away. If Trump loses in a landslide in November 2020 because of an economic downturn triggered by his intransigence, that would be rich with irony. But it would also be accompanied by a lot of human misery.”


Salt Lake Tribune: “This mess belongs — lock, stock and missed paychecks — to the president, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans. Republicans who, don’t forget, couldn’t pass a budget, with or without a southern border wall, when they controlled the White House and both houses of Congress.The ongoing partial shutdown of the federal government has gone from glitch to embarrassment to national security threat.”


Beacon Journal: “Part of what is expected of a president and lawmakers is that they address problems. In this instance, the president has created trouble. ‘I’ll be the one to shut it down,’ he said. He did so by rejecting a temporary solution to a budget impasse. And now he insists on getting his way. That isn’t how governing works in a divided government.”




Montana Standard: “There is not a crisis on the border. Violent crime is not up, there or elsewhere in the country. It is at a 14-year low. Immigrants here illegally do not commit a disproportionate amount of crimes. In fact, they commit less, on a per capita basis, than native-born Americans do. And a wall is not viewed by experts as the best tool to use in enforcing border security.


“Why, then, is this worth shutting down the government?


“Many federal workers here in Montana are working without pay. Others have simply been furloughed. Either way, their families are suffering needless hardship.”


Houston Chronicle: “The shutdown is affecting employees ranging from air-traffic controllers to border agents to NASA scientists. Meyers, the public defender whose office hasn’t been affected by the shutdown yet, is fearful that for the first time in history, the judiciary will go unpaid as well: ‘I think people are really angry,’ she said. ‘They feel like we’re hostages to this. Just open the government and figure it out.’”


Albany Times-Union: “This isn’t TV though. It’s a real-life drama that’s hurting more than 800,000 federal workers who as of last week are no longer receiving the paychecks they need to cover their mortgages or rent, their grocery and day care bills, and all the other costs many Americans juggle paycheck to paycheck just to get by. It’s affected countless other people who work under contract with the federal government, and all the people and businesses that all those workers and contractors do business with.”


Delmarva Now: “On Delmarva, however, the pain is being felt, and will compound as this maddening standoff in D.C. continues. Assateague Island National Seashore is still accessible, but NASA Wallops Flight Facility is at a standstill. At the heart of this problem is that it impacts a lot of people’s jobs, thereby hurting their ability to pay rent and mortgages, buy necessities and carry on about their lives as a working contributor to the economy.”


Harrison Daily Times: “The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which funds federal nutrition programs including school lunches and food stamps, says it can fund these programs through the end of the month, but February could be another story.


“Even local breweries, who have provided a jolt to an otherwise stagnant state economy in recent years, say they are being held back by the shutdown, with the introduction of new labels on hold until the federal government gets back to work. “It’s anti-small business,” says one brewer, accurately.”


Jersey Journal: “A business owner’s foremost responsibility is to ensure his or her employees are paid – correctly and on time. Donald Trump should know that. But, either he’s so far away from the idea of cashing a paycheck before paying the rent, buying groceries or getting growing kids new shoes that he’s clueless or he simply doesn’t care about his 800,000 federal employees.”


Austin American-Statesman: “Trump is responsible for turning it into a political crisis, and the president said nothing Tuesday night to justify the partial government shutdown that resulted from his demands over border wall funding. Congress and the president need to end this shutdown and start constructive discussions on the best ways to address the challenges at the U.S.-Mexico border.”


Chicago Sun-Times: “Take it from Illinois, this federal government shutdown is nothing but bad. And the man at the top will get most of the blame, as he should. For those of us who just lived through four years of such stupidity in Illinois, there’s a sense of deja vu in a partial government shutdown forced by a self-adoring man of business habituated to getting his way.”


New Jersey Star-Ledger: “But what started out as a symbol has become a dangerous fixation, one responsible for mothballing massive sectors of our government and keeping 800,000 federal employees at home without paychecks – despite Congress steadfastly refusing to fund his wall, despite consistent public opposition, and despite overwhelming evidence that the impact on drug trafficking would be negligible.”


Santa Fe New Mexican: “Democrats are right to rebut the ugly message that Trump spews when he discusses the southern border, as he did Tuesday night in a prime-time address from the Oval Office (complete with fundraising appeals before and after).”


Baltimore Sun: “The irony has been lost on President Trump, who has made little mention of the financial hardships those who keep the government running could be facing and has in fact tried to say such workers support the shutdown and are on his side. Does he really think workers support a shutdown he has claimed could go on for years? Who can afford that?”


CT Post: “Congress, including most Republicans, voted just weeks ago to keep the government open without funding for a border wall. The president was about to sign it into law when he changed his mind, likely prodded by conservative media personalities. This is no way to run a government.”


MassLive: “Anyone who has been paying even a bit of attention to the ongoing partial government shutdown that Trump created knows well that it’s all about the president’s demand for a wall on our nation’s border with Mexico. He wants to fulfill his prime campaign pledge, and he is refusing to budge until Congress gives him $5.7 billion for construction of part of his wall. The one he used to say that Mexico would pay for.”