Trump’s Adventures in Shutdown Land
The government is in its longest period of shutdown—ever. As of today, Jan. 23, the shutdown has been going for 32 days, surpassing the record 21-day shutdown in 1995. Around 800,000 federal workers are without pay; 420,000 of them have to work without pay and the other 380,000 are on furlough.
But at least Trump signed to get them back pay right? Sure! But he’s also the reason the government shut down in the first place, which he took credit for. He’s refusing to reopen the government until Congress passes a spending bill including 5 billion dollars for a border wall and is threatening to keep it shut down for months if he doesn’t get his way. This whole issue started when the House passed a spending bill to go to the Senate which included over one billion for border security. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell blocked the bill assuming Trump would veto. Thus, no spending bill was offered to keep the government running and the shutdown began Dec. 22.
Now, McConnell has blocked two more spending bills proposed by Democrats because they didn’t include enough money for the border wall. Obviously, someone is going to have to forfeit. The most unlikely option would be for Trump to suddenly become reasonable and pass a bill to open the government without the full 5 billion dollars. There’s two other options. Either the Democrats will cave and give the funds to the wall Trump is asking for, or the Republicans will feel the pressure of the government shutdown and pass a bill which can outrank a Trump veto.
Until then, thousands of federal workers have already missed their first paycheck, the Coast Guard isn’t getting paid for the first time in history, national parks are getting trashed, Native Americans aren’t receiving the federal funding they need for essential services, scientists have had to hault their research and TSA agents have begun to call in sick because they’re working without pay. Trump’s keeping thousands of federal employees from their paychecks just to fund a wall he initially promised Mexico would pay for. His push to stick to his campaign promises is hurting the American people.
He even threatened to declare a national state of emergency to get the money he wants, which is ridiculous. He is not looking out for the American people, he’s using them as a means of leverage to get funding for a wall that isn’t necessary. This shutdown has gone on long enough. It’s time for our President to actually put the American people first and reopen the government.
Ashley Bower is a junior studying english language arts education.