Down & Out: The U.S. Government

Updated: Feb 1

As we enter our 38th day of the government shutdown on January 28th, conditions of sections of the government continue to worsen.

To begin, let's go back to the start of the shutdown, which began all because President Trump wanted to build a wall.

There are 12 appropriation bills that are to be approved for each subcommittee of the US government at the beginning of each fiscal year; Congress has to pass these budgets and the President has to sign off on them. For the year of 2019, only 5 bills had been enacted by October 1st (the start of the FY), leaving another 7 to be signed going into the new year. One of these 7 budgets was the $5.7 billion Southern border wall, that less than half of the population approves of building.

With Congress not being willing to pass said budget and no other compromise leaving Trump satisfied, the government shut down on December 22nd and has continued to be shut down since. This makes it the longest shutdown in U.S. history.

How does the shutdown affect the rest of the government? This a question that many people have asked, and I have done some research to answer it. To start off, it leaves over 400,000 government workers at home or still working, but without pay. This is horrid all by itself, many of these people have families to feed and rely on this job to do so. Many of the workers have to continue working or else more and more systems throughout the country will cease to work, including airports, food inspection, medical help, and more. Some have already begin to shut down.

Now, with less and less workers, the lack of these important services are beginning to affect the rest of the population. Here is a list of what is being affected:

1) Social Security and Medicare benefit verification and card issuance have stopped. Checks will still be sent out.

2) The Food and Drug Administration has delayed over 900 inspections, leaving us vulnerable to food-born illness.

3) Workers have stopped monitoring National Parks, allowing people to leave waste on the lands. The lack of park openings can lead to major economic losses due to a decrease in visitors.

4) The National Institutes of Health have stopped permitting new patients and signing grant applications.

5) The IRS stops verifying SSN and incomes. This can delay tax returns and mortgage/loan approvals.

6) TSA workers stay home, slowing down air travel. Many terminals, and some entire airports, have closed.

So, not only is this shutdown due to a budget concern, but the government is now losing even more money because of it. Even after the government opens back up it will still be effected from this shutdown: Systems will be backed up, checks will have to be sent out, parks will have to be reopened. This will take even more time and money, and all because Trump is unhappy with what democrats have offered in place of a (ridiculous) border wall.

Though Trump has enjoyed tweeting and saying that this shutdown is due to 'the Dems', he conveniently leaves out the part in which 'the Dems' offered $1.1 billion to better illegal immigration problems. $524 million was offered to improve entry issues in California and Arizona, and $563 million to hire more immigration lawyers.

This shutdown, which is ongoing, has been unnecessary and wasteful. It has backed up all sections of the government, put thousands of people out of work, angered the majority of the country, and cost significant amounts of money. I can only hope that the President will come to his senses over time and use that $5 billion for something more useful than a wall. Knowing Trump, though, I doubt he will.


Sign petitions to stop the wall here:

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