Tuesday, February 13, 2018
In a tribute to the resilience of the American system, what the Speaker of the House summed up all too well as "a second needless shutdown in a matter of weeks" turned out to be just a blip on the country's radar screen.
Congratulations to all those in Congress and out who designed this trade-off that nobody's crazy about but all can live with. This is called the art of compromise, also known as politics, and here's proof it can still be practiced. The devil's still in the details, but so are the angels.
Despite all this president's huffing and puffing, the leaders of both the minority and majority in Congress are to be commended for taking the reins and pressing forward to achieve bipartisan agreement. Now it's all over but the after-action report, which is bound to make assuring reading--with a glaring exception or two provided by the usual aginners.
How is this deal good news? Let us count the ways:
• The deal provides badly needed dollars to shore up the American military abroad while financing vital economic programs at home. It lifts the debt ceiling and allows the government of the United States to continue operating instead of having to shut down. Our lawmakers were not cowed by the president's partisan threats, as when he told a meeting of law enforcement officers, among others: "I'd love to see a shutdown if we don't get this stuff taken care of. If we have to shut it down because the Democrats don't want safety, then shut it down."
But that shouldn't happen now thanks to far-sighted congressional leaders and the grace of a God who still looks after fools, drunkards, and the United States of America. Even the president now has calmed down and shown he can be a force for compromise instead of conflict.
• The deal finances the Children's Health Insurance Program for up to a whole decade, which is a big win for some nine million American kids--and their parents--who depend on it. An ounce of prevention is still worth pounds and pounds of cure.
• The deal addresses the opioid epidemic in this country by appropriating $6 billion to fight it and tackle a variety of other needs like better health care for our veterans and better bridges and highways. It also keeps the National Institutes of Health in business.
• The deal provides $90 billion more to repair the damage caused by a spate of hurricanes and wildfires from California to Florida.
So what's not to like about this deal? Nothing that it includes but various things it doesn't, like protection for all the Dreamers who were brought to this country as children and by now have become grownups who are still waiting for the American dream to come true for them, too.
Tie this dynamite issue, which is still ticking away, to proposals that would beef up security along the nation's southern border, and another good deal should be in the offing. For those pursuing justice may only have begun not to fight, but to negotiate.
Editorial on 02/13/2018
ArkansasOnline.com for only
$0.99 for the first month.