The government shutdown only crushes the nation’s well-being



Stacy Kim

The 35-day partial government shutdown hit the United States hard. Since Dec. 11, a fight over funding for President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall between the United States and Mexico has been consistently progressing. The shutdown, which led to hindering the country’s development and forcing many federal workers to either miss work or work without pay, should have never been an option. Trump, rather than seeking immediate gains with his policies, should focus on the well-being of citizens.

Three government shutdowns happened in 2018, which slowed down economic growth. The most recent shutdown affected 800,000 federal workers and delayed federal spending. According to the Congressional Budget Office, $3 billion will never be recovered due to the closure. Another negative impact is on the hundreds of thousands of federal workers who were left without at least two paychecks. .On Jan. 3, Democrats passed a package that would result in reopening the government and allocating more than $1.3 billion in funding for border security measures, but not a border wall. Nevertheless, Trump insisted that there will be no compromise without funding for a wall. To this day, Trump has remained tenacious — he’s made a deal to pay $5.7 billion in funding for his border wall. The president had even threatened Democrat leaders, claiming that he would possibly prolong the government shutdown for years if he did not get his way.

Speaker of the House and Democrat leader Nancy Pelosi believes that the Senate should work to “end this senseless shutdown.” Pelosi has also blamed Trump for “manufacturing a crisis,” which is quite uncalled for. According to The Detroit News, Cheryl Monroe, a Food and Drug Administration employee, rallied to stop the partial shutdown in Detroit. Along with Monroe, employees are being “deprived of that economic security” that they once believed they would have forever. This record-long government shutdown makes it hard for people like Monroe to pay her mortgage and take care of her family’s well-being. Gary Morton, who has been a federal employee since 1981, , has claimed to miss out on more than $4,000 in pay. Morton has had to cut back on living expenses since the shutdown began, The Washington Post states. He claims that nowadays, his only expenses are basic necessities.

The closure of the government shook the country to its foundation. More shockingly, unscheduled absences among the staff of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration have risen to a record 10 percent since agents were required to work for no pay.

Despite the national crisis, Trump tweeted, “Nancy Pelosi has behaved so irrationally & has gone so far to the left that she has now officially become a Radical Democrat. She is so petrified of the ‘lefties’ in her party that she has lost control… And by the way, clean up the streets in San Francisco, they are disgusting!” In response to Trump’s rhetoric, Pelosi tweeted back, “800,000 Americans are going without pay. Re-open the government, let workers get their paychecks and then we can discuss how we can come together to protect the border.”The key nuance of this issue lies in the fact that Trump’s plan to build a border wall will be permanent, while the protections he initially promised for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program would be temporary. Democratic legislation plans to allocate funding for border security, but not including the wall. Trump’s proposal is not enough to end this partial shutdown, which could possibly happen in full effect again if the president and Congress cannot come up with a lasting solution during the three-week period that the government is currently open for. It is also unacceptable that he has only offered temporary solutions for undocumented immigrants who were born or raised in the United States. According to a statement made by Sen. Chuck Schumer, the Senate Minority Leader, on Jan. 19, “It’s clear the president realizes that by closing the government and hurting so many American workers and their families, he has put himself and the country in an untenable position.” Schumer believes that in order to come up with effective remedies, Trump should put an end to the government shutdown, hold a discussion and devise bipartisan solutions.

The longest government shutdown finally came to a temporary end on Jan. 25. Trump agreed to temporarily reopen federal institutions without funding for a border wall. Despite the reopening of the government, Senate Republicans dread that another shutdown, which is now considered a political weapon, could happen in less than three weeks. As the whole nation has learned this winter, a government shutdown only festers the problem, and another major shutdown should never happen again.