The current impasse over border wall funding is hurting federal employees, their families and many others who depend on those employees for services and in many other ways.
I am not optimistic that the current approach from either side is likely to reach a solution soon. Declaring a national emergency would be legally dubious and create long-term problems related to the power of the president and Congress.
I would suggest authorizing a bipartisan commission to evaluate the needs to enhance border security. Walls (barriers) are in place at some points along the border and play an important role, but to expand a wall across the entire 2,000-mile border makes no sense.
This commission could evaluate the optimal plan, including some sections of wall or fencing, enhanced electronic surveillance and additional Border Patrol agents. Once there is an actual plan, reliable budget estimates could be made and a mechanism for funding could be developed. This would allow an exit ramp for both sides that would hopefully lead to a reasonable plan that could be supported by both parties and the president. This solution, of course, would require that government be opened as a condition to move ahead.
Gary M Oderda, Holladay