Government back up – for now

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

The government shutdown that went briefly into effect was resolved Monday when the U.S. Senate passed a continuing resolution that gives Republicans and Democrats in both houses of Congress until Feb. 8 to come to a budget agreement.

Among the hundreds of thousands of federal employees facing furlough were those reporting to Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake. Although those employees were reportedly back to work by Tuesday, the path beyond Feb. 8 remains uncertain.

However, Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division employees — who make up the lion’s share of those reporting to China Lake — do not anticipate being affected.

“Right now, it’s business as usual,” said a NACWD official. “We are a Navy Working Capital Fund organization, which means we don’t solely rely on funding from Congress to operate. As long as we have funding from our customers, we will continue to work in support of the warfighter.”

Although the vote on the continuing resolution drew some bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate, the sticking point of the budget impasse comes down to the fate of undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children. Democrats are pushing to continue sanctions, established in the preceding administration, that protect these “dreamers.”

A key part of Monday’s deal included a pledge by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, to allow a vote in the coming weeks that would settle the issue.

However, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who represents the Indian Wells Valley along with the 23rd District, said in a statement on Monday that he was unconvinced the shutdown was anything but “disgraceful political theater.

“We were told it was about immigration,” he said, “but the Republicans were already at the table, negotiating in good faith, every single day before the shutdown.

“So I must ask: What was gained here at the expense of the American people? What was gained at the expense of our nation’s reputation as a great and deliberative republic? Every policy in the House’s original bill, the Senate passed today.

“Let’s commit to each other, and to the American people, that we won’t continue to fund our government through short-term CRs … this shutdown was an embarrassment. It didn’t need to happen. It should have never happened.”

Story First Published: 2018-01-26