The rapid passage of a bill through House and Senate, authorizing back pay for federal employees once the needless government shutdown ends, shows how quickly things can happen when politicians get embarrassed about their actions.
The long shutdown, now a record, appears to continue to be unsolved. Nor do the principals in the negotiations, President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders, appear to be any closer to a resolution of their differences.
With about a fourth of federal agencies affected, employing some 800,000, the shutdown is not a complete shuttering of the government. But would it have occurred at all if the Congress had acted responsibly and passed its appropriations bills on time?
Deadline legislating is all too common on Capitol Hill nowadays. But rushing through a bill promising back pay if and when the national leadership gets its act together is another embarrassment in a way. It appears to help the federal workers struggling to pay their bills, without actually resolving the politically created problem. And in the meantime, the family finances of these employees are still under stress.
Not only the workers missing paychecks but America deserves better than this.