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Editorial: To Delaware’s fed reps: Get it open!

January 25, 2019

“When two great forces oppose each other, the victory will go to the one that knows how to yield.” - Tao Te Ching, Chapter 69, Stephen Mitchell translation

The editorial board of the Cape Gazette usually stays out of commentary on national and international issues. There are plenty of local issues that need attention.

But, using a nautical metaphor, when the ship is sinking or closing in on a rocky shore, every person on board needs to drop everything else they’re doing and pump, bail, row, paddle, fend off or whatever else they can to avoid the impending disaster.

That’s where we are now with this failure called the partial government shutdown.

We’re calling on our elected federal officials - Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons, and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester - to stop everything else they’re doing and focus entirely on pressuring their leadership to end this shutdown.

Like the federal workers not receiving their pay, our elected federal officials should also be going without compensation during this shutdown.

This has become a local issue. Our Coast Guardsmen, who have been steadily providing vital search and rescue services for decades, are expected to work without pay. Our federal wildlife refuge at Prime Hook is handicapped. Local craft brewers are being hurt financially and strategically by delays in the processing of permits. Federal employees in our area working for the U.S. Geological Survey are going without pay. The food stamp system is in jeopardy. Management decisions related to the health of the striped bass fishery so important to Delaware are being delayed. People with travel plans don’t know whether their flights or security will be affected.  

In short, this shutdown is destabilizing the country. Our ship of state is heading for disaster.

President Trump sees an emergency. He should act. Congress should let him. The people will hold him accountable for the consequences, good or bad. The dithering must stop. Nothing is more important now than keeping the ship off the rocks.

  • Editorials are considered by the editorial board and written by Dennis Forney, publisher emeritus, and Laura Ritter, news editor, with occasional contributions from other board members: Trish Vernon, CoPublisher and Editor; Dave Frederick, sports editor emeritus; Jen Ellingsworth, associate editor; Nick Roth, sports editor; and Chris Rausch, CoPublisher and General Manager.