Why We Should Care About the Government Shutdown

As I write this Bucknell history is occuring- a SNOW DAY. Suprisingly, this is not the most exciting thing happening in the world right now. The second longest government shutdown in history- from December 22, 2018- January 25, 2019 (35 days)  just ended and is set to resume in less than three weeks.


What does it mean when the government is closed?- Well the most obvious effect is the fact that thousands did not get paid for weeks. Federal workers from TSA agents to members of the Coast Guard had to figure out how to survive on savings and feed their families. But this is not the only effect. Airport lines were extrodinarily long, the TSA was chronically understaffed, the FDA could not hire enough staff to make sure our food was safe, immigration cases were delayed, and national parks were left in disarray.

Why did the government shutdown?- The government shut down over immigration funding. The presidents agenda included a plan for funds for a southern border wall. Many people in the Senate did not agree and refused to provide funding for this Wall. When the president and the senate did not reach an agreement to continue funding the government by the deadline it shut down.

What can you do? There are many GoFundMe’s to support the families of federal workers during the shutdown. Consider donating because even small contributions mean the world and could help feed a hungry family. In addition, if you go to the airport when the shutdown resumes, be patient with the long lines. TSA agents are doing their best without enough staff. Finally, and most importantly, make sure you exercise your right to vote in 2020. No matter what side of the shutdown you are on, it is important that your voice is heard!


I’d like to end on a quote from the 2013 Government shutdown that speaks volumes.

“Save us from the madness. Deliver us from the hypocrisy of attempting to sound reasonable while being unreasonable. Remove the burdens of those who are the collateral damage of this government shutdown, transforming negatives into positives.” - Barry Black, Senate Chaplain


Hopefully, we will live in a more ordered and peaceful world in which no one has to worry where their next paycheck comes from. But until then, stay informed.


When? From December 22, 2018- January 25, 2019

Why? Trump wanted a border wall and could not come to an agreement with democrats over how much money to allocate to it.

Who’s affected? Government workers. While they are getting paid now were not getting paid for the last five weeks. The government shutdown left many without food on the table. They had to show up to work every day for free while bills piled up. 

Airport lines: TSA workers called out in mass. The lines got so long and workers even started blasting rap music. This allowed the chance for unwanted materials to get through airports

Tax Returns: many were afraid they wouldn’t get their tax return but don’t fret. They will happen and on time!

The economy: The economy lost billions of dollars while the government was shut down.

How Long? 35 days. The government has reached an agreement to stay open for 3 weeks but after that it is up in the air again.