What caused the government shutdown?

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For those that don’t know, the government shut down on midnight on December 21st, 2018. The shutdown is currently stretching into it’s third week and is the second longest government shutdown in history. This isn’t the first time this has occurred. The first shutdown occurred under the Clinton administration back in November 13th, 1995. The first shutdown lasted a full five days, ending on November 19th, 1995. There have been a total of 21 government shutdowns, and the most current one is still ongoing.

So what does it mean when the government “shuts-down”? A shutdown happens when non-essential discretionary federal programs close. The president must do this if congress fails to appropriate funds. Usually congress appropriates funds by September 30th for the next fiscal year. If this fails to happen, then the government is forced in to a “shutdown” because they can’t come up with a spending budget on certain things.

This current shutdown is due to Trump wanting congress to fund $5 billion to build the infamous wall. The democrats disagree on building the wall and tries to negotiate with trump. They offer $1.3 billion to continue current border-security funding. It would help improve technology, levee walls and border fencing. Trump refuses the offer and says he won’t sign a bill the $5.7 billion to fund the wall.

The current shutdown began at midnight on December 21, 2018. As a result, about 400,000 non-critical employees of nine agencies were sent home without pay. In past shutdowns, Congress has reimbursed federal employees for lost wages.

Here is a breakdown of how many workers in each department were furloughed:

  1. Homeland Security – 13 percent of 232,860 workers.
  2. Justice – 17 percent of 114,154 workers.
  3. Agriculture – 40 percent of 95,383 workers. February food stamps could be cut.
  4. Treasury – 83 percent of 87,267 workers. Tax refunds could be delayed.
  5. Interior – 78 percent of 68,469 workers. National Park maintenance has decreased.
  6. Transportation – 34 percent of 54,230 workers. Some security screeners have called in sick.
  7. Commerce – 87 percent of 47,896 workers.
  8. Environmental Protection Agency – 95 percent of 13,872 workers. It can use reserve funds to stay open through December 28.
  9. Housing and Urban Development – 95 percent of 7,497 workers.

Whenever the government shuts down, it furloughs hundreds of thousands of workers. It costs a lot more to shut down the government than it is to not. It leaves many people in tough situations. The furloughed workers won’t know when their next paycheck will come in. For the families that live check-to-check, it makes a huge impact on their living. Almost every american has a mortgage and kids to pay for. Some have had to decide whether to spend $50 on gas for the car to get to work without confirmation of pay or to spend it on food to put on the table.

 

https://www.thebalance.com/government-shutdown-3305683

 

An exploration of the geography of the 2,000 mile southern border.

 

 

3 Comments

3 Responses to “What caused the government shutdown?”

  1. BeefCakes on January 9th, 2019 8:41 am

    I feel like at this point neither side is budging. If Trump really wants to get the wall built, he’ll have to find another way to do it. People are facing many hardships with this shutdown, many of them not knowing if they’ll be able to pay rent. National Parks are also getting trashed because there are no park rangers to supervise them. This standoff is causing a ton of harm to many hard working people. It’s time for a side to give in.

  2. RahWash on January 9th, 2019 8:55 am

    The border wall has been Trump’s main selling point since his campaign in 2016 and surprising election in 2017. His followers, many of whom voted for him for the $59.8 million dollar wall, will likely not re-elect him if he doesn’t get the unnecessary, foolish wall built. That is why we have been shutdown for now 19 days. First Mexico was supposed to pay for it straight up, then through his new NA traded deal, and now, with his newly purposed budget which will increase taxes for the American people, many of whom don’t support a wall. I believe government, and American Government in general, are groups of people bought by different companies or lobbyists which have brought a rotten smell into the capital. It’s time for lawmakers to serve the people and not the dollar, but this likely won’t happen with the laws and lawmakers we have now. At this point we have to wait for the old (white) men of the legislature to die off and their ideals.

  3. oceanmtnsky on January 9th, 2019 9:25 am

    RahWash I agree with your commentary however I feel that we always need to have hope in our political system or be the hope ourselves because our voice matters. You have named the problem but I think the solution is greater than “waiting for old white men of the legislature to die off” especially since people like President Trump did not even originate or have any experience in the legislature and since the legislature is becoming increasingly diverse with a record number of women and ethnic backgrounds. Can you speak more to the possible solutions? I say this because someone once told me that when it comes to social issues of justice we are either part of the problem or part of the solution.

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