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The Government Shutdown Of 2018 Is Finding Its Way to Ruining Everything & Honestly, We Have All Had Enough

As you all may already know, the U.S. government is currently shutdown under President Donald Trump’s administration in a failing attempt to obtain over $5 billion for a U.S.-Mexico border wall. This shutdown began on December 22, 2018 and has now been dragged out to last almost a month, and, unfortunately, there is no end in sight.  What you all may not know is what exactly a government shutdown is, who is affected, how they are affected, and what President Trump and Congress are doing about it.

A government shutdown is essentially when funding for agencies that operate on a series of temporary extensions seize to be funded. Since the funding for these agencies have stopped, they are partially shut down.  Many employees are put on unpaid furlough and are not to report to work, while majority are still expected to report to work despite the fact that they will not be paid. These workers are called “expected” or “essential” personnel. One is listed as an “expected” employee if their job involves the protection of property, the safety of human life, or other types of work designated by agencies that are necessary for the latter. So, for example, TSA workers at the airport are expected to report to work without pay because their job is based on public safety. This has caused trouble in airports nationwide. Another disappointment felt by Americans due to the government shutdown is the closing of national parks and museums. With the 21st of January being Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, families wish to visit his National Historical Park in Atlanta. The shutdown has made this impossible, but thanks to an $83,500 grant from Delta Air Lines, the park will be open for 16 days, so guests may celebrate King’s legacy this year.

There are a multitude of other issues that we should fear due to this government shutdown, thankfully, our minds can be at ease concerning a few. One concern citizens have is whether or not they will still receive SSI or other benefits, and the answer to that is “yes” because their spending is not dependent on Congress. Americans are also to still receive tax refunds. The government has pledged that Americans will receive benefits like food stamps through February, but cannot ensure they can continue this support if the shutdown last until March. While the continuation of these major support systems for citizens is good news, the bad news that comes along with it is inevitable. The FDA, which oversees majority of the food supply, has suspended all routine inspections of domestic food-processing facilities and the overall safety of Americans is at risk. This should concern everyone, as well as the fact that attorneys and judges at the Department of Justice are not working which is said to delay federal cases involving discrimination and immigration from achieving the justice they deserve.

In recent reports on the government shutdown, there seems to be no clear resolution since the President has refused to reopen the government until he gets his way, but there are continued negotiations with Congress. There is word that Democrats are trying to develop a plan to end the government shutdown without it resulting in wall funding. Their plan basically consists of proposing two bills leading to greater negotiation, but severs funding for the Department of Homeland Security and border security.

This is the third government shutdown under President Trump in 2018 and the longest one in history.  The first was in January after the debate about the fate of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals act. and it lasted 3 days. The second shutdown came in February and only lasted a matter of hours.  Hopefully the insanity will end soon thanks to the Democratic control of the house. All that is left for us to do is to wait, watch, speak up, and pray.

 

Da'Jia Daniel

Georgia Southern '22

Da'Jia is a Public Health major at Georgia Southern University who believes in the power of voice. As a heavy activist, she believes in speaking up for whatever you are passionate about and having pride in doing just that. Her favorite activities include writing, playing the violin, and spending time with her friends and family. She values all the connections she makes throughout life, good and bad.
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