What You Should Know About the Government Shutdown

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Victorianna Beels, Business Manager

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December 13, 2018, the most recent government shutdown began. Under President Donald Trump, the 21st and longest government shutdown in the history of the United States began. This shutdown would extend to be 34 days and end on January 12, 2019. From December 13 to January 12, over 800,000 government employees were impacted by the shutdown. 380,000 employees were laid off and 420,000 were working without pay. Although this is the longest recorded government shutdown ever, it is far from the most severe. This previous shutdown was only a partial shutdown, as many agencies had already been funded through this fiscal year, ending in September.

The shutdown began December 13, 2018, due to a standoff that was occurring in Washington D.C. The reason for the Democrats and the Republicans to have such a stubborn standoff is the boarder wall between Mexico and the United States. Before being elected as the President of The United States in 2016, one of the central promises Trump made in his campaign was the US- Mexico border wall, introduced as a way to manage illegal immigration in throughout the U.S. Throughout the entirety of President Trump’s campaign, he continuously promised that he would force the Mexican government to pay the entire sum of the boarder wall.

In 2017, Mexico’s previous President, Enrique Peña Nieto, announced that Mexico will not pay for U.S. border wall. In his announcement, he said, “’I am saddened and am against the decision by the United States to continue with the construction of a wall…’” He then added,” ‘Mexico does not believe in walls.’”

Because Mexico denied paying the cost for the wall, President Trump is now demanding 5.7 billion dollars in taxpayer money for the construction of the border wall. This demand did not make the Democrats happy, causing the uproar from Washington. In order to receive the 5.7 billion dollars, President Trump made it very clear that he would be “proud” to shut down the government in order to receive the missing funding for the border wall.

Upon the end of the longest government shutdown in history, there was a border-security legislation bill that would give President Trump 1.375 billion dollars for fencing and barriers at the border. The president said he would take a serious look at the legislation as it contains way less money than he demanded. Although, he said he would take a serious look at the bill, he gave no assurance he would sign the bill. President Trump stated, “’We have got a lot of funds for a lot of other things. With a wall, they want to be stingy.’”

Even though the feuding in Washington is still occurring, at least President Trump has said that he does not want to seek another government shutdown. However, he will continue to search for the remaining money he needs for the wall any way he can.