With just two weeks to go until a potential government shutdown, the U.S. Congress is in a bind. On one hand, the President is demanding massive funding for a border wall millions of Americans don’t want to pay for. On the other, Democratic legislators are pushing a variety of items like a raise in the minimum wage, as well as paid family leave, that demand lots of cash to implement. Each side knows they must compromise if they are to avert an impending government shutdown, but the wide gulf between the parties makes consensus unlikely. For both sides to get anything they want, they must come up with a creative solution. Time is of the essence, but it dictates that a solid solution needs to come out of the Congressional chambers. The August recess was a chance for each party to come up with creative solutions that can bridge the partisan divide. They had weeks to explore the possibilities, but many will likely come to a head when the Senate reconvenes on September 4th and adjourns September 13th. Although both sides face sharp criticism from their own base for daring to cooperate, it seems that is the only way forward. It is not unthinkable that a long-term package could be approached, if there is enough give and take. Since shutdowns have proven to have serious ramifications for American citizens, we will have to wait and see what kind of legislative solutions our legislators can come up with. Both sides have shown a willingness to at least discuss the issue, but they are still far from a resolution. Numerous groups have written to Congress and proposed various topics and outlined plans, yet there is no evidence that any have been or will be taken into consideration. It will take a unified effort to make policy change that works for both sides in this stalemate, and it’s up to both parties to come to the table with open minds and a willingness to compromise. The current situation is indicative of just how broken our government has become, but Congress cannot simply do nothing. With two weeks to go, Congress has to act fast to avoid a government shutdown, and it has to find a way to meet in the middle. Hope lies with the citizens that can motivate their representatives to help create a path forward. There are no easy answers, but with dialogue and cooperation, Congress can find a way forward.