To the editor:
On Dec. 19, the Senate passed — by voice vote — stopgap spending legislation that provided funds to enable nine federal departments and a number of additional agencies to continue operating, and their staffs to continue getting paid, through Feb. 8.
The measure, which allocated no money for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border, aimed to avert a government shutdown.
The bill that the House passed did provide money for a wall, and no compromise measure appeared before the government shut down at midnight on Dec. 22.
Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, has refused to bring back to the floor the Dec. 19 legislation on the grounds that, since the president would veto it, doing so would just be a “show.” I and many millions of other Americans believe that his failure to act is totally unacceptable and undemocratic.
I have urged the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, in a phone message and in an email message, to place ads in all media in every state reminding people of the Senate’s Dec. 19 vote and demanding that the legislation come to the floor of the Senate again.
With the House now in Democratic hands, such legislation — without funds for any wall — would pass.
When the legislated reached his desk, the president would be forced to explain why hundreds of thousands of federal government workers and private contractors should still not be paid.