Cutting to the Chase: The Government Shutdown

As we were all enjoyed shutting off and resetting ourselves over break, apparently so has the government! Over the course of 35 days government workers have gone unpaid, national parks were trashed with, well, trash, and international meetings were neglected. All in all, three billion dollars was lost and there is no official agreement on a budget.

 

After 35 days, passed it finally ended, but not its effects. Disapproval ratings are rising, according to Washington Post polls, and now stand at 56%. Even Obama, at his disapproval peak, had 47% in June of 2011 according to CNN.

 

The stalemate causing all of this drama in D.C. is border security. The promise Trump made to build his infamous wall between the United States and Mexico makes it seem black and white, but there is a lot of gray area to dissect.

 

Both parties, Republicans and Democrats, want greater border security. That is clear and reasonable. But it gets tricky when devising how to carry this out. It isn’t so black and white (or wall and no wall) as people tend to think.

 

The Republican platform, updated in 2016, supports Trump’s campaign for a wall and would use “authority to keep dangerous aliens off our streets and to expedite expulsion of criminal aliens” While the Democratic platform mentions working on a “ comprehensive immigration reform that fixes our nation’s broken immigration system, improves border security, prioritizes enforcement so we are targeting criminals – not families, keeps families together, and strengthens our economy.” There are two very different attitudes between these ideas.

 

This clash, represented in public documents of both the major parties is essentially the only reason for the budget hold up. An in depth timeline from Business Insider explains the proposal and rejection cycle that took place from pre-shutdown December 6th, to complete-shutdown on December 21st, to the near present, where supposedly the government is running again but without a budget. The pact made by the House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and President Trump will keep the government running, until February 8th where a final budget must be approved, or, as Trump promised, the shutdown will ensue again.