As the government finally reopens, a new group is calling for an indefinite shutdown.
The longest government shutdown in history is over. After 35 days, the United States government has reopened its doors to lawmakers and federal employees everywhere. While the government is open for now, it is only funded until Feb. 15 and, with the threat of another shutdown in the near future, lawmakers are agitated.
“I don’t want to deal with all this drama again. It’s so much work to have to compromise with Democrats again. Let’s just keep it open,” stated Oklahoma Representative Kevin Hern. His sentiment was echoed by other lawmakers.
While these complaints are almost universal, there is one group that has a better proposal. The Libertarians, never ones to mince words, state it simply: just keep the government closed. It’s a simple proposal really. When the government closes on Feb. 15, stay home. No more fighting to get another bill passed in a hurry, no more angry constituents or disgruntled employees asking where their paycheck is. It’s as simple as saying goodbye and letting people figure it out for themselves.
In most cases, this would be a truly radical proposal, but since the United States did just fine without a government for over a month, why not keep going? As the Libertarian Whip tries to get the bill through the House and Senate, they look toward the benefits of the shutdown they could use to persuade more mainstream Democrats and Republicans.
While the government was shut down, immigration cases were halted, and for some, it will be years before they can be heard again. Unfair for some? Maybe, but I’m sure the Republicans will be thrilled that we’ll never have a new citizen again!
Another interesting thing that happened during the government shutdown was that some active-duty Coast Guard service members were not paid. While for some this is a travesty, as the Democrats continue to complain about what they view as the U.S. government spending an “obscene” amount of money on defense spending, they have to be happy that less is spent during a shutdown. The Libertarians hope that this might be one of the talking points that helps this proposal stick for Democrats.
The last point the Libertarians hope to use is the halting of Freedom of Information Act requests. Since there are at least a few Democrats and Republicans who have some things they would prefer they didn’t have to share with the American people, halting those requests is obviously beneficial to everyone. I mean, honestly, who in the government doesn’t have something to hide?
As the Libertarians continue to look for support, they are trying to get everyone to focus on the bigger picture. Libertarian Justin Amash said, “It’s not just about being too lazy to reach a compromise or being so tired of Trump you say, ‘Screw it.’ It’s not about the gall of federal employees to not come into work and the travesty of not having an assistant for the day. This bill is about the true end goal of every American: relaxing on your farm at the end of the day, eating the bread your wife baked and recognizing you don’t owe the government anything anymore.”