60 days later … have you done anything yet?

I’ve been waiting; we’ve all been waiting.

Govt Shutdown SignOn Thursday, October 17, at about 12:30 a.m. President Obama signed new legislation for the temporary spending plan that was passed by both the House and Senate. Passage of this agreement, after 16 days of arguing and fighting, funded the government for approximately 90 days. It allowed furloughed workers to return to their jobs and government expenditures to continue.

The public was told, by the people they elected, the shutdown was terrible, it should never happen, but from a practical standpoint, the 90 days would allow cooler heads in the Senate and the House to prevail and a long-term plan could be worked out during that time.

I’ve been waiting; we’ve all been waiting.

Governors, state representatives, state senators, mayors, and ordinary citizens, all looked toward Washington with a jaded eye and wondered.

“All that money and you can’t agree how to spend it?”

The Democrats blamed the Republicans and the Republicans looked at their counterparts with scorn and anger.

I’ve been waiting; we’ve all been waiting.

Here’s a suggestion. Write to Angus King, Susan Collins, Mike Michaud, and Chellie Pingree. Gently remind them they are in Washington to work on our behalf and for the good of the country. Ask them to please honor their word. In truth, the majority of those who voted believed them and hired them to do a job on behalf of the citizens of Maine.

The temporary spending legislation passed overwhelmingly, and we were told by our representatives that 90 days would be enough time to finish the work. We are about two-thirds of the way through the allotted time.

If they worked for my company, and we had to deliver something to our customers in 90 days, I’d stop in and ask, “How are you doing? Will you be finished in time? Is there anything else you need to complete the job?”

I would expect an answer. I wouldn’t want to be surprised the week before the deadline.

I’ve been waiting; we’ve all been waiting.

I will follow my advice and write to them. As a group, I think they are caring, honest, and want only the best for our state and the country. In many ways they have a difficult task and I realize they must work with their counterparts from across the country in order to complete their job. I just want an update on the work to date.

If I hear back from them I’ll post their responses here. I do expect them to answer these basic questions. I’m also a big believer in transparency. Tell me the truth, please don’t put a spin on the situation, and let me know if you need my help.

I’ve been waiting; we’ve all been waiting.

Based on the legislation that was signed, the government will be funded through January 15 and the debt limit (the amount the government may borrow) was raised until approximately February 7.

I’ll let you know what I hear.

I’ve been waiting; we’ve all been waiting.

Here are the links to send email to our senators and representatives.

Sen. Susan Collins : http://www.collins.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email

Sen. Angus King : http://www.king.senate.gov/contact

U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree : https://pingree.house.gov/email-me

U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud : http://michaud.house.gov/email

If you write and hear from them, send me a note, I’ll post your responses too.

David Arenstam (Teacher/Writer, Saco)


David Arenstam

About David Arenstam

Originally from away, but here to stay - Maine is my home and I love writing stories about the people and places from my end of the state. I am a teacher and writer and my first novel, "Homecoming: A Soldier's Story of Loyalty, Courage, and Redemption" is available now at www.BrysonTaylorPublishing.com