Here’s what Speaker Pelosi should say

Mr. President,

It is time to end the shutdown. You can have the $5.7 billion you want to build your wall to ensure that brown people seeking a better life don’t come here.

You can have the money because you have damaged this country enough with this shutdown, keeping dedicated federal workers from doing their jobs and stopping millions of Americans from getting the services they pay their taxes for.

You, as the head of the federal government, should know better. But since you don’t, we in the legislative branch will give in to your selfish approach to running this country.

You can have your $5.7 million so we can get back to having a secure nation.

Maybe you hadn’t noticed but polls consistently show that a majority of our country support border security, as do I, but not a wall which will become a symbol not of the beacon of freedom our country has always been, welcoming immigrants from all walks of life, but a wall which blocks people from coming here.

You can have the money because I prefer that when other countries think of the United States of America they see an image of the Statue of Liberty welcoming them, not a wall barring them from our country.

You can have the money not because your wall is right or just, but because while it’s not a piddling amount, it is not enough money to stop this country from being the best in the world. If you are able to build even a mile of the wall before you leave office, I will be surprised, so here’s the money…try to build your wall.

You can have the money despite your repeated promise that Mexico will pay for it. You can have the money not because you have fantasized a roundabout way that Mexico will pay for it — they won’t — but because this nonsense has gone on long enough.

You can have the money not because you are a great negotiator — you are not — but because your mean, petulant decision to close our government is unfair to the people who elected you and me to serve them.

You can have the money because federal workers are putting off mammograms because they need to spend what would have been their copay to buy food for their children. These people who dedicate their lives to the rest of us deserve far better treatment than being told to work without pay. Or to stay home and we’ll pay you later even though you say this shutdown could go on for years. How do you expect these folks to last years without a paycheck?

You can have the money because we have FBI agents, Secret Service agents, TSA agents and others whose minds are on how they will provide for their families rather than the important jobs they have keeping us all safe.

Mr. President, you can have the money and I’m not asking for anything in return except for you to learn that you and I are not important. The people of this country are.


Former deputy White House press secretary (Reagan and Bush 41) and former head of communications at Republican Natl Committee. My blog:

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