Government Shutdown Made History

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Government Shutdown Made History

The US Capitol

The US Capitol

Caitlin Richards

The US Capitol

Caitlin Richards

Caitlin Richards

The US Capitol

Caitlin Richards, Social Media Editor

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Disagreement over funding President Donald Trump’s border wall caused the federal government to shut down for 35 days starting Dec. 22, the longest government shutdown in history. 

Before the shutdown, Trump met with congressional Democrats saying that he would allow the shutdown if he did not get $5.7 billion he asked for in order to build a wall along the U.S.- Mexico border. Democrats did not agree to give Trump funding for the wall because they did not think that would be the best solution for border control.

Even though there have been government shutdowns in the past, including a 16 day government shutdown under Obama, this was the third government shutdown since Trump’s presidency and also the longest shutdown in all the presidencies.

“We need to get the government up and moving again for so many reasons,” said William Peace University political science professor, Dr. Elizabeth Kusko. “This is the longest government shutdown in American history and it just seems like we have one side and another side. Now we have a new congress with Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House and Dems control the house, so it’s like this whole different dynamic and they are just butting heads constantly.”

Although political parties have different viewpoints and tend to not agree with how situations are resolved, Democrats and some Republicans are both agreeing that the government needs to be reopened while deciding on how to handle border control.

The historical shutdown is directly affecting those who work for the government causing some people to have to start selling their possessions and finding free meals in order to make ends meet without receiving a paycheck. Federal government workers are doing what they can to still be able to get by while receiving a blank paycheck.

“The government needs to get up and running for all of these people that don’t have a job right now at the expense of airport security, national security, national parks and just the people that are hard-working people that don’t have jobs right now that run the entire government,” said Dr. Kusko.

Not only is the shutdown directly affecting those who work for the government, it is impacting  a wide variety of government positions, such as food inspectors, farmers, the IRS etc., which all have a drastic impact on these workers’ financial situations. It is also causing flights to get delayed and security measures not being as tight since workers are calling in sick due to not getting paid.

“It is also the first time that active American military have not gotten paid. It was the American coast guard that did not get paid and that’s the first and only time that active military has not gotten paid,” said Dr. Kusko.

This government shutdown has also affected veterans, the disabled, and non-profit organizations that help people who are homeless or who are on a low-income pay scale, making the tenants have to pay in full, which they may not normally be able to do. This could also lead to evictions and leaving people to not be able to receive the help they need.

The Republicans are in agreement with Trump and their views align with what he is wanting, with only a few Republicans not having the same interest in mind. Meanwhile, Democrats are wanting to come to an agreement of what to do about border security, but believe that a government shutdown is not necessary.

Both political parties have ideas of how they would like this situation to be resolved, but they are not willing to come together to make an agreement on how to solve the issue, which is causing the government to stay shut and continuing to make history.

“It just seems like this is what the regular average American citizen is really tired of. These politicians fighting with each other at the expense of like 800,000 federal employees who have not gotten paid in over a month,” said Dr. Kusko.

With the threat of government workers receiving their next zero balance paycheck, Trump was not backing down from wanting to receive border wall money. Even though the government has reopened for now, Trump is still wanting his border wall funding.  

“It says a lot about us as a country and as the leaders of this country that we can’t resolve a shutdown. It makes us look weak and immature on the world stage and that certainly is not good,” said Dr. Kusko.

 

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