To Build a Wall

Amidst the Government Shutdown

Bianca Fairchild, Editor In Chief

   In 2013, the US government shut down over the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare; the shutdown lasted for 16 days. In Jan. of 2018, the government shutdown as a standoff over the bill for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), where Republicans wanted to eliminate their protection in the US and the Democrats wanted to ensure it; the shutdown only lasted for three days. In Dec. 1995, the government shut down for 21 days while Congress waited for Former President Bill Clinton’s seven-year budget proposal.

  And Dec. 22, 2018, the government again shut down and reached the longest government shutdown in American history on Jan. 12, 2019.hree days. In Dec. 1995, the government shut down for 21 days while Congress waited for Former President Bill Clinton’s seven-year budget proposal.

  The shutdown started as a deadline for a decision on funding for Trump’s long-promised border wall came and went while Congress continued to waffle over the conditions of the bill. Trump requested $5.7 billion for the wall; however, the House of Representatives, which has  been controlled by Democrats since the 2018 midterms, refuses to give in.

  While Congress fights over the wall funding on the side, thousands of federal workers are working without pay, including TSA agents and Customs and Border Protection agents. IRS agents were ordered back to work, even though they won’t be paid, on Jan. 15, so tax returns won’t be delayed.

  Many other departments almost shut down entirely, including NASA, the National Park Service, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, according to a factsheet released by the Democratic staff of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

  As the shutdown continued into the end of January, the costs of the shutdown equated the cost of the wall. As of Jan. 14, the shutdown cost the government $3.6 billion dollars, according to Vox.

  While the House has offered a bill to provide $1.6 billion to improve border fencing, it was declined. Trump is taking a very clear stance: either he gets the $5 billion or the shutdown continues. The House also attempted to pass a bill to reopen parts of the government on two occasions; however, Senate Republicans, Mitch McConnell in particular, have denied the bills both times.

  According to The Hill, McConnell has refused to pass any legislation that didn’t include cooperation between the President and the Democrats.

  Republicans began taking steps to compromise with Democrats. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has proposed to provide funding for the wall, but in return, to give Democrats protection for Dreamers under DACA, however, that was denied by Congress Democrats.

  New Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi has been fighting tooth and nail over the border wall. In fact, many are labelling some of this shutdown as a “Trump vs. Pelosi” situation. A lot of the conflict on the side of the Democrats is due to Pelosi’s refusal to pass a bill that contained any funding for the wall, period.

  On Jan. 27, the government reopened temporarily to ensure paychecks for Federal workers, but it’s believed that another shutdown could occur soon.