This is a letter submitted to Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) through his Website on Oct. 7 about how the government shutdown could derail the annual middle school trip for Point Pleasant's eighth graders. As a former Memorial School student, the Washington trip was a highlight of my time there and I hope this year's eighth grade class get to enjoy the trip as well.
Besides an autoreply from Congressman Smith's office acknowledging that he has received the e-mail, no direct response or proposed alternate intinerary was provided from his staff.
Dear Congressman Smith,
While the government shutdown is rippling through the economy with
workers idled and services constrained, Point Pleasant Borough's eighth
graders may get a civics lesson that will leave them unhappy. They are planning to visit Washington DC this month.
The itinerary features visits to many national landmarks including the
Smithsonian buildings,the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial and
Congress (where the class gets its photo taken). As you can see, the
shutdown will leave the eighth graders few activities. Many parents
will hold the House responsible for this SNAFU because of its failed
leadership, whose agenda has been hijacked by a small minority of the
GOP. Sometimes the biggest legislative achievements are products of
compromise and behaving like an adult. The shutdown can be ended
with compromise, a spending resolution and/or a simple vote on raising
the debt ceiling. I am concerned that the posturing over the budget
will disappoint Point Pleasant's school children and confirm their worst
suspicions that government doesn't work, no matter which party is in
charge. It usually takes a few years of adulthood for cynicism to
harden one's psyche. We don't need to have eighth graders succumb to
it. Could you please send me an alternative itinerary for the eighth grade class in case the shutdown is prolonged?
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