Both sides agree that government shutdowns are bad for the American people, bad for government and bad for policy making. After a painfully and unnecessarily long partial shutdown earlier this year, I am encouraged that last week Congress and President Trump worked together to avoid another lapse in funding and provide for some of the nation’s pressing needs.
Last week during his State of the Union address, President Donald Trump delivered an inspiring and uplifting message that seemed quite Reaganesque. I was extraordinarily proud of what he had to say and how he chose to say it.
While the State of the Union is certainly one of the greatest American ceremonies, it is much more than a production that takes place each year. Indeed, the gathering adds record to our history, affirming our founding principles and demonstrating our striving still toward a more perfect union.
With the partial government shutdown recently ended, I wanted to provide a recap of the turn of events. The past several weeks were certainly frustrating and inconvenient for all Americans, but the shutdown was especially painful for those who went without pay for more than a month.
Each year, we rightly pause to remember the life of a legendary figure in American history and courageous change agent for freedom and equality. Though Martin Luther King Jr. emerged in the midst of societal tension and conflict, his message and approach was one that sought to erase division, racism and hatred.
With the shift in majority control of the House due to the outcome of the midterms, the newly sworn-in 116th Congress will represent a challenging era of divided government. Especially in divided government, there is no room for one-sided debate. In order to get things done for the American people, bipartisan and good faith negotiation is critical.
In spite of a highly polarized and partisan political environment in 2018, Congress actually had a surprisingly productive year.
While negotiations to fully fund the government unfortunately remain underway in the Senate, I am pleased to report that lawmakers in both chambers of Congress did recently complete work on bipartisan legislation to improve the federal justice system.
As Congress continues to finish its work this year, I am encouraged that lawmakers in both chambers recently finalized and approved legislation that is vital to the success of our nation’s farmers and ranchers.