Our Non-Essential Federal Government

We enter yet another week of the “partial” government shutdown.

Over the weekend we saw veterans bull rushing the WWII Memorial, tearing down the barricades, and re-positioning them in front of the White House lawn. “Good on ya!” I’d toss out to those veterans.

We heard news that states and private entities are stepping up to keep America’s finest assets, our national parks, open to the public. Thank you, on behalf of all of us that love the national parks.

And we continued to hear more bickering from leaders in Washington.  Ugh.

The developments over the past few weeks have led me to ask, “What exactly does the federal government do, anyway?”

The push to keep the national parks open is a clear sign that state and local leaders know a dysfunctional federal government will cost them millions in tourism dollars.  So they’ve pushed forward without a hint of politics and undertaken the federal government’s work.

Last night it began flooding in central Texas. I’m sure if needed, Gov. Perry will call out his state’s national guard troops. He and the Texas Legislature won’t wait for the federal government. If another massive wildfire hits the West, or a late errant hurricane hits the southern coastal states, chief executives and emergency agencies won’t wait for the federal government either.

City, county and state executives don’t get to “shut down” their governments because they can’t get along. They have to work together to do the job that people have elected them to do. Because they know that if they don’t do their job, voters will show them the door at the next election.

Elected officials in Washington have shown us in recent months that the interaction between the House, Senate and White House is dysfunctional, and that’s being diplomatic.

Unfortunately, the longer this cliff hangs over our head, the more “non-essential” leaders in Congress will appear to voters.


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Filed under Legislative Affairs, Public Affaris

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