Shut down the grandstanding

Upcoming budget battles threaten state and federal government shutdowns.

by Daily Editorial Board

A last-minute compromise on $38 billion worth of cuts helped the federal government avert a shutdown Friday. This means 800,000 federal workers, including 18,428 in Minnesota, wonâÄôt be furloughed âÄî at least for now.

The partisan bickering that lasted throughout the budget conversation is deplorable. Our elected officials nearly failed us with their inability to compromise with one another. Though we averted a crisis for the moment, itâÄôs time for both parties to grow up and put the American people ahead of political games.

It is frightening that politicians were willing to risk a shutdown because they would not get 100 percent of what they wanted. While our elected representatives bickered, passport and visa applications wouldnâÄôt be processed, national parks would have closed and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would stop monitoring the spread of diseases.

And the coming battle over the debt ceiling could mean another potential government showdown as soon as May.

Minnesota could face a government shutdown itself if Gov. Mark Dayton and the Republican-led House and Senate canâÄôt close the $5 billion shortfall before July 1. The madness must stop.

Republicans like to claim that voters sent a message in November to cut wasteful spending. But theyâÄôre not running the entire show. The voters also elected Dayton and a Democratic controlled US Senate in 2010. The voters clearly want pragmatic compromise.

Working together has never been more crucial. The cost of not doing so in upcoming debates is nothing less than a catastrophic shutdown of government.