GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN

A gridlock led to a long government shutdown.

February 12, 2019

On Dec. 22, 2018, the U.S. government shut down several federal agencies after President Donald Trump and Congress could not come to an agreement regarding the insufficient funds for a wall along the Mexican border. Trump urged for a protective wall during his presidential campaign in 2016, and claimed that $5.7 billion is required to fulfill the project. On Jan. 25, 2019, Trump reopened the government after 34 days for three weeks while negotiations continued between Congress and the president.

Trump proposed the border to prevent Mexican immigrants from getting inside the U.S. without legal permission. Over 11 million undocumented immigrants live in the U.S. and Trump believes that creating the wall will strengthen border security. The Democrats wanted more security at the border and agreed on funding the 654 miles of barriers in 2006, however, many did not support President Trump’s wall.

Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, denied all negotiations and offers from Trump that included border wall funding and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer believed that giving into Trump’s requests would allow him to use “similar tactics in the future.”

Republicans supported the wall for its progression in better homeland security. Republicans feared that more undocumented immigrants may come in; taking care of undocumented immigrants staggered the process of citizenship for immigrants, regardless of whether or not they entered the country legally.

“…the wall is one step closer to concrete immigration laws and better border security,” student Elle Gee* said.

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, ruled that no action would be made until the Democrats in the Senate and the president agree on what to do with the border. The Democrats stated that they will not support the border construction and asked Trump to consider abandoning the project. In response, Trump prolonged the government shutdown.

According to CNN, The Food and Drug Administration stopped food inspections, the National Transportation Safety Board halted fatal accident investigations and agencies without funding are lacking cybersecurity. National Public Radio (NPR) stated that roughly 800,000 federal employees received $0 in their paychecks during the shutdown.

“…If the shutdown were to continue for a longer period, some citizens may find that the services that they are used to may take longer because of furloughed employees,” World History and AP Government teacher Joe Schwab said. “The TSA is one example, if employees call in sick, you may expect to see longer lines at the airports.”

Trump agreed to open the government back up because of the delays and cancelled flights a major airports.

The government shutdown was currently the longest in U.S. history; the previous record being the shutdown during Bill Clinton’s presidency, which lasted 23 days.

*name changed to hide identity

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