A partial U.S. government shutdown over President Donald Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border entered its 34th day on Friday, January 25th, making it the longest shutdown of federal agencies in U.S. history. Yet, there is good news on the horizon. Reportedly, President Trump has agreed to reopen the government for three weeks until February 15th. What started this though? Democrats say Trump shut down the government in a “temper tantrum” by refusing to sign bipartisan funding legislation last year that did not include money for his wall.
The closure, which began on December 22nd, broke the record held by a 1995-1996 shutdown under former president Bill Clinton that lasted 21 days. Roughly 800,000 Federal workers have missed their paychecks for the last five weeks every Friday, introducing the prospect of financial pressures on employees like air traffic controllers and airport security officials who continue to work without pay. Unfortunately, some have resorted to selling their possessions or posting appeals on online fundraising sites to help pay their bills.
Every week that passes, the shutdown is costing the US economy more than $1 billion. Trump is reportedly considering a national emergency declaration that would end the shutdown and allow him to obtain his wall funding by circumventing Congress. However, on Friday the 11th, he said he would not take such a step “right now.” The next day, Trump urged his 57.2 million Twitter followers to contact Democratic lawmakers and “tell them to get it done!” Democrats, who call a wall an ineffective and outdated answer to a complex problem, have passed several bills in the House of Representatives to reopen the government without funding Trump’s barrier. But the legislation has been ignored by the Republican-controlled Senate.
Trump originally pledged Mexico would pay for the wall, which he says is needed to moderate the flow of illegal immigrants and drugs, but Mexico has refused. A national emergency would allow Trump to divert money from other projects to pay for the wall, which was a central promise of his 2016 campaign. That, in turn, could prompt him to sign bills that restore funding to agencies that have been affected by the shutdown. With neither party coming to the table to end the shutdown, a lasting effect on the federal workers and the economy has been set into action.
Governments should not shut down, but if they do the problem should be resolved quickly and not be dragged on for over a month!