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A Bipartisan Commission Could End Government Shutdown Now

Laurence Jarvik

Posted on January 18, 2019 11:06

2 users

Washington attorney Joseph I. Goldstein suggests President Trump and Congress establish a bipartisan commission to oversee Border Wall construction, to end the Government Shutdown now. This would allow appropriation of $5 billion dollars, as promised by President Trump in his 2016 campaign, while Congress could condition actual expenditures upon expert oversight, thus retaining authority, while permitting both sides to save face.

Speaker Pelosi's threat to cancel the State of the Union, followed by President Trump's cancellation of her military travel are signs of increasing frustration over the Government Shutdown in Washington.

Partisan gridlock, deadlock, “Resistance” and Shutdown have created an impasse for Border Wall construction and federal appropriations, with some Democrats openly wishing for national tragedy to end the dispute

On the other side, some Republicans have called upon the President to declare a national emergency to begin construction without Congressional appropriations

However, neither of these dramatic alternatives allows for the face-saving compromises required to get things done in Washington, in the opinion of Joseph I. Goldstein, veteran Washington attorney and former Securities and Exchange Commission official.

To reopen the government, Goldstein suggests that the President and Congress establish a bipartisan commission to oversee border wall construction, in order to take the issue out of political contention.

This would allow appropriation of $5 billion dollars, as promised by President Trump in his 2016 campaign, while  Congress could condition actual expenditures upon expert oversight.

Such a Border Wall Commission (BWC) might call upon government and private-sector engineers and policy experts, in consultation with state and local officials, to come up with a realistic Border Wall plan that met the needs of all concerned, including economic development, similar to the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Competitive bidding for construction work might permit jobs and contracts to be spread around the country, similar to the defense industry.

Legislation might be very simple, with only 2 clauses:

1. $5 billion must be spent on Border Wall construction (for the President);

2. Money would be spent only under the authority of the Border Wall Commission (for Congress).

Such a BWC might consist of 6 members plus a Chair—two appointed by the House, two appointed by the Senate, two appointed by the Executive, plus a Chair nominated by President and confirmed by Senate.

The BWC would handle all the details, coordinating government agencies, the private sector, state, local, and foreign governments as needed to get the job done.

Any unspent monies would be returned to Treasury at end of the Fiscal Year.

Establishing a Border Wall Commission provides a way out of the Government Shutdown, allows President Trump to keep his campaign promises, and protects the Congressional power of the purse. Everyone saves face.

Commissions may not be beautiful, results may not be perfect, but they allow problems to be resolved which can't be addressed in other ways. 

For example, commissions have dealt with Social Security, military base closures (BRAC), and 9/11. Goldstein's old agency, the SEC, was formed by FDR to deal with the Wall Street Crash. 

In Washington, when an Irresistible Force meets an Immovable Object, it is traditional to establish a Bipartisan Commission to end the stalemate.

By removing the Border Wall from politics, a Border Wall Commission would permit Congress and the President to move America forward.

The "Goldstein Plan" offers a win-win resolution to the Government Shutdown.

Laurence Jarvik

Posted on January 18, 2019 11:06

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Source: FOX News
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