To the Editor:

The government shutdown over the border wall can be resolved in a matter of minutes.

Lets stop being concerned who wins this argument and just solve the issue. President Trump has decided that he can live with the word barrier instead of wall and to please both sides lets call it border fencing. In 2006 a bill was passed and signed to construct border fencing and much of the existing border protection is a result of that bill.

The shutdown is serving no purpose and by closing the Dept. Of Homeland Security we are less secure and doing nothing to solve the border problem.

The Democratic solution to end the stalemate by reopening the government and then resume negotiations over border security makes the most sense. It is not appealing to Trump but it is in the best interests of the country.

The Senate has already approved this approach which would get the government running again and paychecks into the hands of 800,000 federal employees and open the door to real negotiations on border security.

Jay Johnson, the former head of the Dept. Of Homeland Security, could be called on to lead the negotiations as he knows the border issues first hand and is fully aware of where increased fencing would work and what other security measures are needed.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell must stop playing politics and bring a vote to these bills that will pass both chambers but possibly not be signed by the president. If necessary override the veto and begin negotiations on the border issues.

Democrats must then accept Trump’s offer of funding for security priorities and provide votes for border fencing as determined by the negotiations headed by Jay Johnson. Congress will never give enough federal dollars for a 2000 mile border wall nor does the public want this.

Pass the bills to reopen the government, agree on border security including fencing as appropriate, and stop trying to find someone or party to blame.

Congress must then step up and pass a Continuing Budget Amendment to prevent any further government shutdowns This amendment, when an agreement on funding levels cannot be reached, would renew existing funding levels for set periods of time [3,6 or 9 months] to keep the government open while agreement is finalized.

Jerry Hanson