Government Shutdown

What Goes Into A Government Shutdown And Who Is Affected?


Picture of Congress building.

Megan Walsh, Copy Editor

“No more food banks, we need paychecks” is the chant the protesters used outside the Hart Senate Building in Washington D.C. during the longest shutdown in American history.

The majority of the federal government gets its funding from the annual budget appropriations that are decided by congress. These are set amounts of funding that each branch can receive from the government. The majority of the government has been receiving funding since the budget year began on October 1st, 2018 but some were given temporary extensions of the previous budget year that expired at midnight on December 21st, 2018. Those agencies were partially shut down due to lack of funding. 800’000 employees have been temporarily suspended from their jobs because of the shutdown. Only employees that were seen as essential to each agency was allowed to stay. These include employees that involve the safety of human life, the protection of property, or work that the agency deems essential to continue functioning. Others, however, are still working but without pay.

On December 22nd, 2018 the government was partially shutdown due to several disagreements between the democrats and the republicans. The two parties are at odds due to security issues across the Southern border with the president demanding $5.7 billion dollars to build a steel wall across the American-Mexican border. This is currently the longest government shutdown to date, beating the record set place in 1995 for twenty-one days.

“Shutdowns are still at a complete and total impasse.” CNN, stated “Things are just as stuck as they have been for three weeks. Period.”

To end the shutdown President Trump is looking for $5.7 billion to build a wall across the Southern border

Over a month passed since the beginning of the shutdown and there does not seem to be an end in sight. Not only is this a national problem, this is also a local issue. Due to the government shutdown thousands of workers called out “sick” in refusal to work without pay. An example of this is the growing impact that the shutdown is having on America’s airports. Miami International Airport has closed a lot of its terminals due to lack of employees.

“Trump is holding the government hostage just to build his wall.” Junior, Tyler Powenski, states. “Overall it’s just a big waste of time.”

Other students such as senior, Mark Kalafian have a different opinion.

“I believe the wall serves its purpose and I also believe that it regulates illegal immigration and the problems that it may come with.” Kalafian, states. “I understand that a lot of people have to escape their country or they want ease of access into ours but I believe through a legalization process they come in through a more official and formal way that follows our standards.”

Students are also feeling the impact of the shutdown. Some students have parents that work for the federal government and going a month without pay has been proven to be a challenge. Sophomore, Jaelyn Johnson, is feeling the impacts currently. Her dad is a mortgage lender and is paid by the federal government to help people build up their credit so they may get a house.

“The last time he has gotten paid was about a month ago.” Johnson, states. “A lot has changed in my family, because we are not getting paid. My parents don’t fill me in on their financial problems that much, but obviously I know that they are struggling.”

Johnson’s family is fortunate to have other sources of incomes, but many do not, and going over thirty days without a payday is proving difficult. Some are resorting to food banks and homeless shelters to get their basic necessities. Hundreds have gathered outside of the Senate building to protest this.

After 35 days the government finally reopened on January 26th, 2019. Unfortunately, this freedom might not last. The government is only to be opened for three weeks unless a resolution is reached. If a resolution is not reached by February 15th the government will go back to being shutdown. The president is willing to do whatever it takes to secure a border wall.

“Yeah… he’s willing to do whatever it takes to secure the border… He doesn’t want to… Let’s make that very clear. He doesn’t want to declare a national emergency.” Top Trump Advisor, Mick Mulvaney, states.

The Trump Administration has promised to pay its employees what they had missed during the shutdown. However, the fear of another shutdown looms.