Border Patrol and ranchers discuss illegal immigration Getty Images/John Moore

Ag dodges a bullet in government shutdown

It’s time the people we sent to Washington to represent us begin to do that. Funding the government and common-sense immigration reform are good places to start.

OK, I know what you’re thinking.  I’ve thought it, too—shutting down the government for a few weeks may be the best thing to happen.

But it isn’t, as experience tells us.

Shutting down the House of Representatives and the Senate for a few weeks, now that’s another discussion. That may indeed be the best thing to happen to America—shutting up the blowhards who posture and pontificate while their constituents—you know, the people who sent them to Washington to represent them—worry about what their elected representatives will do next to increase their power base while hurting the folks back home.

Indeed, after a three-day “furlough,” ag dodged a bullet when the blowhards found enough backbone to at least fund the government for a few weeks. That’s important. If you’ll recall the last time this happened, some very important USDA reports and programs were stopped dead, and the lost data could never be retrieved. That disrupted any number of useful data series that analysts and economists use.

RELATED: Lofty promises: Could we actually see immigration reform

The sticking points this time around are spending and immigration reform, specifically DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.  What’s important between now and Feb. 8, when the short-term spending deal ends, is that our elected representatives and senators—you know, the people you sent to Washington to represent you—rise to the expectations of those who sent them there and figure this thing out.

Agriculture desperately needs common-sense immigration reform. Every economic sector in America does. But using the government that the American people depend on as a hostage in the negotiations over spending and immigration reform is simply unacceptable.

It’s time that our elected representatives in Washington find enough…I probably can’t use the appropriate word here…to return to the statesmanship and diplomacy that should be the hallmark of Congress, not the hateful posturing and power-grabbing we have come to know.

That’s the least we should expect—no, demand—from the people who are supposedly there to represent us, not themselves.

 

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