Government Shutdown Causes Turmoil inside and outside of Washington D.C.


Bergen Cornelius

American government was at a standstill last week in and the people are the ones who will be hurt by this. Right now the Republican party is in control of the House, Senate, and the White House with that amount of power anything can be done for their political gains. The budget has to be passed and with the current demographics of Congress, the vote will need to be largely bipartisan to pass.

The budget was supposed to be passed before the new year starts, so the government understands where money will be funneled throughout the year, to be exact on October 1st of the previous year.

President Trump stated in a cabinet meeting where the press was present on January 9th, “If they (Congress) come to me with things I’m not in love with, I’m going to do it. Because I respect them.”

Yet, after President Trump said that he would sign any bill sent his way out of respect of everyone, he changed his mind two days later when the bill arrived at his desk and decided not to sign sending Congress through major troubles. That made the process very difficult when trying to pass the bill; many Republicans argued that Trump was hurting the party since he was not telling the world what he wants to do with immigration.

President Donald Trump via

The Republican party held strong to their core beliefs on immigration and decided that they would not support a budget bill that would include giving 700,000 people temporary citizenship. Democrats would not say yes to the temporary bill until DACA for Dreamers was put in. After neither party would budge on their issues the government shut down on January 20, 2018 at 12:01 in the morning.

At that time all government employees were placed on furlough, which temporarily relieved them of their duties and some returned home until the shutdown was over.

One more alarming fact is even with the recent increase in flu deaths this year, all doctors and scientists who are government employees had to stop working. The government did not re-open till Monday, January 22, 2018. Therefore, those scientists lost just over 60 work hours trying to find a solution.

Our nation’s military were told they could not leave the base and go home, but they would not receive any money for working while the United States was still in shutdown.

Some good news after Congress passed the temporary bill to stop the shutdown is that they passed an additional bill to give payment to all government employees that were affected from the shutdown. That includes the military, who were forced to keep working and the other men and women around the country who lost work days.

Matt Owens, who teaches government at Southwestern High School, stated, “A government shutdown is a man-made crisis. They are unnecessary and could be avoided with thoughtful leadership and a willingness to work in a bipartisan manner.  I find it hard to believe that many Americans see a government shutdown as a positive force for our country. It’s hard to point out any individual or small group to blame here. Rather, partisanship, and the 535 men and women who are elected to serve in our Senate and House of Representatives are responsible for the government shutdown.  This government shutdown was not caused by a foreign belligerent, natural disaster, or something that is beyond our control.  Rather, it was manufactured by those who were elected to serve American people. I sincerely hope that, in the future, both sides will work hard to find a better way forward for the American people.”

On March 6, 2018 there was supposed to be a vote for DACA or Deferred Action for Child Arrivals; this program was implemented in 2012 under President Barack Obama and granted the children of immigrants who were in America before 2012 and under 31 years of age temporary citizenship to work and go to school in the United States. Now there are over 700,000 people protected by DACA, and many immigrants could lose everything if Congress does not keep it alive.

The DACA program lasts two years for each individual and after time expires, the people can renew it as many times as possible until recently. President Trump signed an executive order to stop immigrants from renewing their two years DACA agreement. This means that once  people run out of the two years they have with DACA, they will no longer be American citizens. Therefore, they could get deported at any time. Democrats would not sign the new budget deal until the Republican party added a DACA provision into the bill so it would not expire and provide people with temporary citizenship.

DACA was not the only important thing been discussed during the shutdown, however. Chip or Children’s Health Insurance Program was on the line as well. Chip ran out of funding in September of 2017 and almost 9 million children around the country are in desperate need for this program. The temporary bill added six years of funding, so children across this country can continue to get health care.

One important thing to mention is Democrats want DACA and Chip renewed, but only got the Chip program renewed for now. Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, promised the Democratic party they would have a debate over DACA and it will be reformed and sent to the floor for a vote. Some Democrats are nervous about McConnell keeping his promise.
The bill that stopped the The United States shutdown is only a temporary bill that only keeps the government funded until February 8th. If by February ninth at 12:01 a new bill has not been passed, then the government will shut down again. Congress is under heavy scrutiny, since they have just passed the fourth temporary bill and cannot seem to pass a permanent deal.

MCHS junior and political enthusiast Flora Bock said, “I think both the left and right are at fault in this situation. Our country was founded on compromise and it seems that now, the two parties are only concerned about the good of that particular party, rather than the good of all Americans. In my opinion, DACA shouldn’t have been brought into an unrelated bill, but I do understand the concern from the left on this issue.”

President Trump himself did absolutely nothing with re-opening the United States government, those comments were coming from both Democratic and Republican Congress members. Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Trump was “glaringly absent,” while  Arizona Republican Senator Jeff Flake said, “The White House really hasn’t been involved from what I’ve seen.”

Arizona Senator Jeff Flake via

Contradictorily, the White House put out a statement: “What the president did clearly worked,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in defense to questions referring to how much the President and the Vice President actually contributed to the passing of this bill.

Ironically, President Trump hit his one year anniversary of President of the United States on the day the government shutdown and cut his anniversary celebration in Mar a Lago short.