Amidst the Longest Government Shutdown

Juan Karlo Desembrana

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As many of you may have seen on the news, the country is amidst the longest Government Shutdown it has experienced, 32 days as of January 22, 2019, surpassing the 21 day shutdown that occurred in 1995-1996. This shutdown has rooted from an impasse between the president’s request for funding towards the border wall he wants built, and the congress who refuses to provide the funding.

So what exactly does this mean for the country? A government shutdown occurs when the president and congress fail to agree on the budget legislation for the fiscal year. Amidst this partial government shutdown, federal agencies must stop all non-essential functions. This means more than 800,000 federal employees, and those deemed to be essential for the country are required to work without pay, while others are either placed on leave or furloughed. Mika Cavanagh ‘20 says “I feel for the government workers that are being forced to go to work without pay in order to force congress to build an unnecessary and expensive wall.”  Not only are federal employees affected, but if the shutdown continues even people on government aid will be affected. SNAP receivers will be able to receive their benefits up until February, but if the shutdown continues, their benefits for March and onwards will be disrupted. In regards to the people being affected Eleanor Sherline ‘19 says “It’s unfortunate because people don’t realize that a lot of government services such as food stamps are unavailable to the people who need them”, while Carson Herman ‘19 “Too many people are being affected, a budget needs to be passed soon before things get any worse.”

For right now there isn’t anything we can do about the government shutdown but wait and hope that things will get better. 32 days and counting, with the effects becoming more and more drastic, let’s hope that the president and congress comes into agreement and this shutdown doesn’t last any longer.

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