By Roger Caldwell
As America celebrates the New Year, the federal government is experiencing a partial shutdown for 16 days at the writing of this article. The partial shutdown could be resolved in the next week or the next day, but there is a standoff, and our leadership must compromise.
“As we stare into the coming abyss of 2019, we should try to be calm. A wildly fluctuating stock market, global trade wars, economic collapse, threats of nuclear war, brewing terrorism. Continuing investigations of the Trump campaign, calls for impeachment, political stalemate between Republicans and Democrats, increased hostility and shrill accusations positioning candidates for the 2020 election, dysfunctional government , the loss of American prestige in the world, and catastrophe everywhere,” says opinioned writer Grady Means of the Hill.
This is an accurate assessment of America on many different levels, but somewhere in this dark analysis of our country, there is always hope and faith. It does not matter how hard yesterday was; tomorrow will be a new amazing day with unrealized possibilities and opportunities.
As Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats in the House take over the leadership of committees, Democracy is alive and well. Nancy Pelosi is the only woman to be elected House
Speaker from 2007 to 2011, and re-elected to the post last week, as the Democrats took control of the House, after eight years in the minority.
The shift of power started with the historic election of President Obama in 2007 for eight years, (a Black man), then the historic election of Donald Trump in 2016, and in 2017, the largest protest in the country initiated by women after the inauguration of our president.
In 2018, the Democrats in the midterm election won a net of 40 seats as a result of women organizing and running for election in the House. This was the largest gain since 1974, when the Democrats picked up 49 seats.
Pelosi, 78 said as she was handed the gavel, “Our nation is at an historic moment. Two months ago, the American people spoke, and demanded a new dawn.”
There are more diverse new members in the House, starting with age, race, sexual orientation, and more women together in the two Houses in the history of the country. This new group of legislators is a statement of the power of the Democratic system, and many Americans are elated with change.
“The Congressional Black Caucus is flexing its muscle like never before, poised to claim a pair of leadership slots in the House Democratic majority, and a handful of committee chairman’s gravels. The new clout comes from a significant gain in African American members, nine total. If all nine join the CBC, as expected, they will push the caucus’s voting bloc to 52 members of the roughly 235 House Democrats expected next year,” says Paul Kane, of the Washington Post.
With the new power of the Congressional Black Caucus, they have the ability to help upset Trump’s agenda, and with their subpoena power things will not be the same as the administration’s first two years. The CBC will probably have a total of 56 members this year, because of senators Booker, and Harris, as well as two nonvoting delegates.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s has sent two bills to reopen the government, without funding for the wall and the president of the Senate Mitch McConnell is holding the government hostage, and not taking any action.
There is a political stalemate between the Republicans and the Democrats, and it looks like things can get uglier and nasty very quickly. Starting 2019 with a partial government shutdown could last for many months, if cooler heads don’t prevail.
It is early in the standoff, is there a way everyone can win? This could be President Trump’s worst year of his life.