Government Shutdown Gone Too Far?
By Chase Hensing
The United States government shut down from midnight on December 22, 2018 until January 25, 2019 lasting a total of 35 days and setting a record for the longest shutdown in United States’ history. This began when the US Congress and President Donald Trump could not agree on an appropriations bill to fund the 2019 fiscal year.
This forced nine executive departments containing 800,000 employees to shut down, causing thousands of employees to work without pay or be furloughed. Which cost the US approximately 11 billion dollars.
The disagreements stemmed from Trump asking for 5.7 billion dollars for a border wall between Mexico and the United States. Trump believes that the wall will be the best way to shut down Mexican drug cartels, human traffickers, and illegal immigrants entering the United States. However, Democrats such as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, call the wall “expensive, and inefficient.” The stalemate was prolonged by Trump choosing to deny any piece of legislature that did not contain funds for an entire border wall. Glenelg Freshman Danny Bishop said, “I believe that both sides were at wrong in this situation. Although border security is a big issue, I think that the parties are negotiating poorly and at the cost of the government workers.” President Trump has also been under scrutiny as when he first announced his wall during his run for President, he said he would have Mexico pay for this wall. Many people see this as a way of the President going back on his words and just saying that so that he could get elected easier. Glenelg Sophomore TJ Ringer said, “I think it is important to have the wall, it is a good way to prevent people sneaking in since it is very hard to get around on top of armed guards. However, it will cost a lot of money and it might be more important for the government to spend that money elsewhere.” As of now it looks like the border wall will be happening, so we will be able to see if it will be an efficient solution the major problems at the border.
The three states that were most affected by the government shut down were Maryland, Hawaii, and New Mexico, along with The District of Columbia. According to bizjournals.com, this is based off of five reasons, including the amount of government employees who could not work, federal contract dollars per capita, percentage of families receiving financial aid during the time, real estate as percentage of gross state product, and access to national parks. Glenelg Freshman Jordan Klein said, “Anytime that I heard the news it was all about the shut down. I, personally, was uneducated about what an actual shutdown was and I had no idea it was actually a big deal.” The shutdown also affected things such as airports, parks, and families that didn’t receive pay. At airports there were massive security issues since TSA wasn’t working, this meant that the airport was short staffed and it took a lot longer to search bags and it was less thorough. At parks no one was there to clean them so they got overrun by trash. And many american families needed to apply for financial aid when they did not receive their monthly paycheck to pay for their living expenses. This issue is very concerning for American citizens because it highlights a great opposition in the U.S. government and how it continues to use government workers as hostages to negotiate bills.
Finally, on January 25, 2019 both sides agreed to open the government to negotiate a bill that was eventually passed. As of February 15th President Trump has signed a bill to keep the government running until the fall. However, since he did not acquire proper funding for his wall, he has also declared a state of emergency over border security, which allows him to bypass Congress and receive money for his wall from elsewhere. However, the large controversy with the new situation is that the national emergency has been called illegal, since there is clearly no emergency at the border. Glenelg Sophomore Kevin Miller said “I think there is an emergency at the border, there is a lot of crime going on down there. I think he should be allowed to enact a national emergency.” With lawsuits glooming in the future it will be interesting to see how this plays out in the future weeks.
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