Shutdown reprieve

The agreement reached between the White House and Congress on Friday brought an end to the longest-ever government shutdown, but it is only a repreive, not a solution.

The agreement reopens the federal government for a three week period, until Feb. 15, when another spending continuation will be needed. That gives Congress three weeks to negotiate the spending bills that fund the government, including the Homeland Security allocation in which President Donald Trump wants to include $5.7 billion for his border wall.

If that issue cannot be resolved, will Trump be willing to let the government be shut down again? By then there should be a sense of how much the shutdown cost the economy, and where the political damage was felt most.

It is possible that everything can be worked out and a compromise reached, but we wouldn’t care to wager any serious money on that.

Once this reprieve is up, we may be right back where we were in December, when the shutdown started.