Government Shutdown


Audra Gilman, Staff Member

Everyone knows the taboo of talking about religion and politics at the dinner table. Now, as the recent government shutdown financially crippled many American families, it’s everyone’s resort. President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats, discussed how much money should be solely devoted to Trump’s southern border wall. President Trump demands that the border wall deserves at least $5.7 billion, however the Democratic party will only agree to $1.6 billion. President Trump threatened to shutdown the government if the Democratic party did not agree to his border wall budget. Congressional democrats stood their ground on behalf of the Democratic party leading President Trump to partially shutdown the United States government on December 22, 2018. On January 25, 2019, President Trump finally caved in and decided to open the government for three weeks. Yet, there is still one question on the nation’s mind: what happens when those three weeks are up?

The 2018-2019 government shutdown holds its place as the longest government shutdown in American history, beating out President Bill Clinton’s 21 day shutdown. Federal workers across the nation suffered the effects of the shutdown. President Trump opened the government so federal workers could receive their back pay and attempt to figure out a solution to their financial issues. President Trump is adamant that after these next three weeks, he will resume the government shutdown due to the ongoing disagreement about his border wall funding.   President Trump and congressional Democrats need to open their eyes and see how the shutdown affected the American people. It is the job of government officials to assist the American people and protect the country’s citizens. The people in power are focused on winning trivial battles against the opposite party instead of being focused on keeping the American people out of lengthy financial problems.

This lengthy government shutdown punished the people of the United States. There are roughly 800,000 federal workers, according to CNN, who worked without pay or were asked to leave their jobs until the shutdown is over. Those federal workers include TSA workers and FDA workers, the people protecting our airports and the people protecting public health, who  went without pay and were not able to regulate our safety. TSA workers called in sick instead of working without pay. Families around the United States were forced to negotiate with their landlords and banks because their accounts were in jeopardy. Many families across the nation have had to make difficult decisions regarding their wellbeing, such as deciding whether to pay their bills or paying for gas and groceries. Lawrence North is holding a food pantry open to all LN families affected by the shutdown. The food pantry is sponsored by Tri-Hi-Y, PAC, National Honor Society and many other clubs within Lawrence North. Students can drop off their non-perishable donations, such as canned and boxed goods, to the Athletic Commons or door 11.  The government shutdown dragged on for 36 days and frankly that is ridiculous.

The 2018-2019 government shutdown has now become a petty fight between the president and congressional Democrats. This argument is no longer a matter of border security, it has now become a frivolous clash of pride. House Democrats have deliberated with President Trump over how to end the shutdown for the sake of the American people, however the temporary cease of the government shutdown is the only thing that both sides can agree on. The officials in power are not coming to any agreements and are refusing to compromise with one another.

“We have no choice, we have to have border security and a wall is part of border security,” says President Trump to FOX News during a phone interview. The president also added that he was “not giving up” in the battle with congressional Democrats.

When President Trump announced the end of the government shutdown, he noted that the goal of the cease-fire was to aid in the financial crisis that federal workers have been dealing with during the shutdown. Yet immediately following that, the president painted a picture of what America is like at the southern border and continued his attempts to persuade the American people that the border wall is an important and necessary investment. President Trump briefly talked about the financial hardships of the United States federal workers and diverted his speech to a discussion of how horrendous the Mexican-American border is.

“Human traffickers! The victims are women and children, maybe to a lesser extent, believe it or not, children. Women are tied up, they’re bound, duct tape put around their faces, around their mouths. In many cases, they can’t even breathe. They’re put in the backs of cars or vans or trucks. They don’t go through your port of entry. They make a right turn going very quickly, they go into the desert areas or whatever areas you can look at, and as soon as there’s no protection, they make a left or a right into the United States of America. There’s nobody to catch ‘em, there’s nobody to find ‘em. Can’t have that,” Trump said.

The government shutdown went on for far too long. It took 36 days for the people in power to realize that the shutdown was hurting the American people and that it needed to end. That was 36 days too long. But what comes after the three week cease-fire? Will the government shutdown again and will the people of the United States suffer once more? Or will the government officials realize that this is just a futile attempt to win a petty dispute and end this once and for all? It’s time the people in power put an end to this foolish duel for power and pride. The longer the shutdown went on, the longer the American people suffered. The citizens of the United States must be aware of what is going on in the government and how it can affect the nation and the community around us.