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Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last month then you know about the current government shutdown… the longest since 1995. Your president shows no signs of stopping the current shutdown, as he warned this can last for months to years, unless he receives $5.7 billion to pay for a wall along the Mexican Border.

Some of you may not think this is serious because you don’t feel the immediate effects of the shutdown but there are over 800,000 Americans who the longer this lasts the more likely it is the you will too. Others are aware but have no clue what the shutdown means or how it even happened so let’s discuss…

 

What is a government shutdown?

 

Each year Congress is tasked with delegating funds to different governmental agencies and programs. They are supposed to come up with 12 appropriations bills that allocate funds and both the President and Congress must sign off. This is supposed to be completed by the beginning of the fiscal year which starts on October 1. This year only 5 bills were ready in time.

 

The reason the government didn’t shutdown immediately is because Congress and the President passed short-term extensions. This allowed the government to keep running while they finish the remaining bills. Your President then decided to not agree on anymore extensions unless they would include $5.7 billon for his wall. The partial government shutdown began on December 22, 2018.

 

The wall and Trump

 

One of Trump’s campaign promises was that he would build a border wall along the Mexican border and would have Mexico pay for it….

Mexico is obviously not paying for this wall and Trump’s response is that he has a trade deal involving Mexico and Canada that will pay for the wall. So why is he asking Congress for $5.7 billion?

 

Here’s what we know about this alleged “trade deal” from him and his press secretary:

  • The trade deal with Mexico and Canada will bring more revenue to American businesses

  • The increased revenue will belong to the business but the revenue will be taxed

  • The money received from the taxes will pay for the wall

 

Still not understanding how Mexico is paying for this wall? … because they’re not. The money is coming from American taxpayers. But here’s their defense via Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, “No, we’re not taxing, we’re talking about additional revenue that wouldn’t have existed without the new deal.” Still doesn’t make sense.

And incase you didn’t know… the wall is widely unpopular among the American people.

 

Shutdown Effects

 

A lot of people have had concerned about the effects of the shutdown and what it means for them. Right now there are currently 800,000 workers furloughed and other employees that are deemed essential that have to work without pay.  

 

Here’s a list of a few other things that are affected by the shutdown:

  • Public schools could run out of money for free and reduced lunch students

  • Federal courts are running out of money and cases are being delayed

  • Food safety inspectors are furloughed

  • Federal financial aid is still operating because the Department of Education contracted with a private company

  • Consolidation student loan applications are on hold because they are directly reviewed by the DOE

  • Food stamps will only have enough funds to run through February

  • The DC Metro is losing $400k a day  

  • Air traffic controllers and TSA workers are calling out sick to either protest or look for new jobs

  • The National Zoo and Smithsonian Museums are closed

  • Funding for low income housing is in danger

 

To read more of what is affected by this shutdown:

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/12/20/18136667/partial-government-shutdown-post-office-military-passports

 

This shutdown is taking a toll on innocent citizens and the longer it continues the worse it will get.

 

Loryn Hairston

Hampton U '20

"She is clothed with STRENGTH & DIGINITY Prov. 31:25" Lo. 20 y/o. ny. strategic communications major pre-law track, c/o 20. writer + future esq. + avid reader.
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