25-day shutdown exemplifies changing norms in America’s governing institutions
Jan. 15, 2019, marks day 25 of the U.S. government’s partial shutdown that began on Dec. 22. Not terribly long ago, spending bills were enacted before the end of the fiscal year. Regrettably, budget gridlock and agency closures are being normalized. Presidents and legislators today frequently use shutdowns as political ploys to boost their parties’ brands or deprecate the opposition. Such political scheming disrupts government operations and inflicts pain on hundreds of thousands of federal employees and the private sector. Both President Trump and Congress should immediately find ways to reopen as much of the government as possible, and recommit themselves to reforming the congressional budget process, which makes shutdowns all too easy.