No End In Sight For Government Shutdown

By Afi Ibragimov and Milana Shindelman

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The United States is in the midst of the longest government shut down in history as of Saturday, January 12 and there is seemingly no end in sight as of this reporting.  

The government shutdown was caused by a disagreement between the House and Senate over the federal budget. President Donald J. Trump’s plan – and a key campaign promise to his voters –  is to build a wall along the border of the United States and Mexico in the pursuit of curtailing the amount of undocumented, illegal immigrants coming into the nation.

The President claims the wall will cost about 5.7 billion, while other estimates include figures as high as 25 billion.  The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives believes there are other ways to solve the immigration issues at the border, but the President is holding firm claiming there is a crisis at the border.  This has resulted in a political battle of wills with neither side compromising.

The wall counts as part of the essential government services budget, and until both parties agree on the topic, the government will remain in shutdown.

The government shutdown does not affect most of the population individually, but it does affect government officials who have been laid off and have been without income for more than three weeks. Typically, during a shutdown, government workers do not get their pay. They only receive the payment after the shutdown for the amount of time the shutdown lasted. About 420,000 workers have been working unpaid since the shutdown, and about 380,000 federal workers are on temporary leave or have been furloughed.

President Trump went down to Texas Thursday, January 10 to press his case for the wall. There, he made no compromise on his proposed border wall. When Trump left Texas, he tweeted how the meeting was “a total waste of time” as neither party agreed to alter their stance on the matter.

Now, President Trump is negotiating to reopen parts of the federal government to continue. The House passed a bill last week that would assure those not receiving pay checks that they will receive back pay when the government re-opens.

Robert Hittinger, a history teacher, explains how Trump is losing support from “not only those who oppose him but those who support him too” because he is “not able to fulfill a campaign promise” to those who voted for him. When asked how this issue reflects the President, he explains that this is the “number one downfall of the presidency” thus far.

Many students admitted that the shutdown does not affect them personally.

“I understand how frustrating it might be for everyone who works for the government. It shows how difficult it has been for the President and Congress to agree or reach a compromise,” says Laura Lassen, junior. “I think it’s extreme how the entire government shuts down just because of the wall,” she said in regards to the severity of the issue.

Sophomore Jessica Tozzi says, “It is upsetting to me that so many federal workers, thousands are on the verge of not being paid,” in reference to the mass amount of government employees.

 

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