U.S. Shutdown 2019

By Isabella Longo and Jake Mawhinney
JAN 24, 2019

On December 22, 2018, the United States Government was shutdown. Reporters Eric Yoder and Katie Mettler of the Washington Post explained that a government shutdown occurs when funding isn’t approved or passed. In this case the funding would be for a wall that President Donald Trump intends to build on the U.S. and Mexican border. This project is expected to cost approximately $5.7 billion. According to The New York Times reporters Matthew Haag and Niraj Chokshi “If he got $5.7 billion for a border wall, Mr. Trump said, he would restore for three years the protections known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, and Temporary Protected Status, or T.P.S.” Due to this issue, some government employees have been temporarily granted a leave of absence. Others, who are employed in vital government roles, have continued their jobs despite this shutdown. The Washington Post explained that workers who remain on job during a shutdown are called “un-excepted” workers while those who are granted leave are “excepted”.

A sign posted outside of a building during a government shutdown. Photo: Dinkytown

Consequences of the length of this shutdown have been felt across America’s recent economy. As explained by New York Times reporters, Jim Tankersley, Matthew Goldstein and Glenn Thrush, because of the shutdown some people applying for mortgages are experiencing delays and government employed Secret Service Agents are among those asked to work without pay. In early January, 2019, the New York Times reported that “President Trump and congressional Democrats have made little progress in negotiations to end a shutdown that has affected about 800,000 federal workers.”

According to the New York Times, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents have worked without pay since the very first day of the shutdown. Farmers who applied for subsidies must also wait to be paid. The stand-off for funding has turned out to be the longest in history. As of this writing, the U.S. government has been shutdown for 31 days. Doug Criss of CNN Politics reported the longest shutdown in history lasted 21 days, under the presidency of Bill Clinton. It also began with a congressional debate over federal funding.

The stalemate between the President Trump and Congressional Democrats is likely the cause for the length of this shutdown. According to St. Thomas Aquinas High School AP U.S. Government and Politics, AP Comparative Government and Politics teacher, Mr. Francesco Ortoleva,“There is an end in sight but it might be awhile before we get there.”  He is concerned about the fact that political leaders are not considering the vast negative impact on Americans. After a month, the political deadlock between U.S. government leaders still drags on, while the concerns of the American people continue to skyrocket.

Feature Photo: Aaron Kittredge from Pexels