Target: United States Senator Mitch McConnell
Goal: Stop a politically motivated government shutdown that would hurt the economy and cost taxpayers billions
A government shutdown is few people’s idea of a good time, but at least one man is willing to risk another one happening. U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell recently laid out a plan of action to be adopted if conservatives gain control of the Senate after the November elections. The Senate would introduce spending bills containing language that would reign in policies that the president supports. A simple presidential veto would be dangerous, as the bills would contain spending necessary to keep the government functioning. In essence, the president would have a choice; sign bills into law that have a detrimental effect on his favored policies, or veto them and risk shutting down the government. Such a ploy requires no real leadership, no new ideas and no governance; all it requires is an aversion to anything the president supports.
According to the White House, the last government shutdown cost the federal government billions of dollars and millions of work days, while the national economy failed to create thousands of private-sector jobs that would otherwise have existed. Confidence in the government also fell sharply, both nationally and worldwide. There is no reason to risk such an event again. But Senator McConnell would rather prevent the government from working than allow the president to have his way. It would be one thing if the senator could point to any harmful laws or policies that the president supports, or if he had alternatives for the programs he intends to shut down. But so far, the only plan is to end policies, not to start new ones.
Senator McConnell can work to create and pass new laws to work towards his goals. If his party gains control of the Senate, they will have a much easier time governing the way they wish to. But there is a difference between governance and simply opposing everything your political opponents support. By signing this petition, you will urge the senator to give up on plans that could shut down the government.
Dear Senator McConnell,
Your recently revealed plan of action should your party take control of the Senate is a dangerous and short-sighted one. It is bad enough that you intend to continue blocking the president’s policies without offering any alternatives, but your plan to attach riders to important spending bills means that you risk another government shutdown. If the president is unwilling to abandon his goals, some of which he has worked towards for years, the federal government could cease to function once again.
The last government shutdown cost the country billions of dollars and thousands of jobs. There is no need to risk such an occurrence again. I urge you to give up on plans to thwart the president’s policies at risk of shutting down the government.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Bill Koplitz via Wikimedia Commons