February 15, 2019
It has been quite a week within the world of politics and I for one am exhausted from talking, reading, and hearing about it at this point. I have both received and placed an abundance of calls this week in regards to disaster legislation in this week’s measures. Late last night both Houses of Congress passed a measure to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year and this legislation included approximately $1.38 billion in funding for 55 miles of border wall in the Rio Grande Valley. President Trump has agreed to sign this legislation and forego another shutdown but at the same time issued a national emergency so that he can pay for his wall via different means.
In terms of disaster, we went into last weekend thinking that we would see disaster legislation tied to this week’s spending packages but that was not the case. Why was disaster absent? That’s a great question. While I do not have the answer I have several ideas as to why this was the case. The current political narrative has been hijacked by those who are for and those who are against the wall. Both parties have been consumed with this topic and keeping the government funded. That being said, other pieces of legislation, like disaster, would only muddy the already clouded waters and only further complicate the votes needed to keep the government funded and running. While I am disappointed disaster legislation was absent, I am at the same time pleased that we have avoided another shutdown.
I am still hopeful and I still do think that we will see disaster legislation circle back to the forefront of debate within the coming weeks. The Georgia delegation, Congressmen Sanford Bishop and Austin Scott, and Georgia’s two Senators, David Perdue and Johnny Isakson have fought hard to procure a comprehensive disaster bill that would help tie over Georgia producers in this time of need. After conversations with these individuals this week I can assure you that they are as upset as we are in regard to this lack of action on behalf of the federal government. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this administration is not farmer focused at the moment. Both President Trump and Vice-president Pence made trips to Georgia post Michael and both promised to send “help” to our local communities. As time has passed, it has been seen that their focus is elsewhere (i.e. erecting a wall for election 2020 talking points).
In terms of the “wall” and the issuance of the National Emergency I have VERY mixed emotions. The first thing you learn in Political Science 1101 are basic terms such as state and sovereignty. One key component of sovereignty is land that has established and protected borders. I do believe that the United States needs to protect and secure its’ borders but doing so via a National Emergency scares me. This creates a thing such as precedent. If the administration is allowed to accomplish this via a National Emergency, what would prevent a very different President in the future from doing the same thing in terms of very liberal policy such as healthcare? See my point? It’s not as clear cut as we might like to think and it has historic implications.
In sum, we don’t have disaster today but we have more people fired up now than ever. It’s unfortunate that we have arrived at this point, it may however help us achieve our ultimate goal. With that said, I will acknowledge time is of the essence and there are some operations have need help sooner rather than later.
That is all for now. I hope our next update brings forth more positive news.