The Shutdown of the Century

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The Shutdown of the Century

As an 8th grader, you should care about the shutdown because it threatened everyone.

As an 8th grader, you should care about the shutdown because it threatened everyone.

As an 8th grader, you should care about the shutdown because it threatened everyone.

As an 8th grader, you should care about the shutdown because it threatened everyone.

Kaian Juengst, Staff writer

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 Did you know that the longest government in the history of the United States only recently ended? Chances are that you have heard of this, but unless you’re interested in politics, the Government in general, or a Federal Worker, then chances are you didn’t care about this. However, this shutdown was more dire and impactful then you think, especially if you were on the poorer side of the social scale, but I’m getting ahead of myself. First we need context, so what exactly is a Government Shutdown, and what does it mean? Well, a Government Shutdown is the shutdown of the federal government and its agencies. Said agencies must cease all non-essential functions until new funding legislation is passed. All essential services and spending are continued, though workers themselves go without pay for their work. Government Shutdowns are extreme inconveniences and are usually filled with political upsets. 

 

Now that we have what a government shutdown is, why exactly should you care? Well, there are a number of reasons you should, but let’s first start with poverty. Government shutdowns, as stated earlier, keep most government agencies up and running, but federal workers can face being furloughed, or experiencing a time of work without payThis most recent shutdown lasted 35 days, and saw many controversies, such as the fact that many workers became furloughed. Furloughed issues became a big problem as many people quickly spent through their savings, leaving them with little to no moneyThis whole debacle got so bad that certain food banks stepped in to make sure that workers were able to afford food to live. I personally have an out-of-state friend who’s mother is a federal worker, and when asked about how the shutdown haaffected him, this is what he had to sayBefore the shutdown, I lived a pretty normal life where we had enough money to get by, though we weren’t exactly well off. When the shutdown hit, my mom didn’t seem to worry. She went through this event back in 2017. That changed when the first paycheck didn’t come. We began to stop our needless money spending and focused more on saving moneyAs the shutdown continuedthere was a clear loss of money, but unlike some other workers, we were still able to live a pretty normal life with enough money to get by. That’s brings me to where we are today, we still had money to livebut had this shutdown continued, we may have had to dig into our vacation savings. We aren’t exactly the most well off family, but we are sure glad this shutdown is now over.” Now that isn’t too bad of a story, but it does give a hint as to how this shutdown had affected families and how easily it could have heavily damaged poorer families’ lives. 

 

Another reason why you should’ve cared is what made national news several weeks ago; the infamous case of the Delta airlines passenger, but first some context. TSA (Transportation Security Administration) is one of the numerous government funded programs effected by the shutdown. As a resultTSA workers had, at the time, been calling in as they were tired of working without pay or for other various reasons. So, with these lower TSA numbers, the risk for a potential security breach heightened. This breach came on January 3rd when a lady attending an Atlanta to Tokyo flight accidentally carried a gun onto the plane. See the issue, right? Fortunately, the lady had no ill-intent and the issue was resolved peacefully. Now, Delta denies that this lapse in security was due to the lack of workers and shut down itself, but even so there was still a large number of TSA workers had called out, which lessened the opportunities to find any potential security mistakes, which means that there was a larger chance something like this would have happened again. Thankfully though, nothing else happened. 

 

Many more different agencies suffered during this shutdown, including the National Park Services and the Internal Revenue Service. However with agencies mostly covered, let’s focus on what exactly it took to end this historic shutdownFor over three weeks, Congress was in a chokehold between the parties. Neither side wanted to pass the other’s shutdown ending legislation as both parties were keen on having their way. Finally, President Trump put his fist down and urged that a minimum of $5.7 billion for the border wall. He would later lower this once compromises between the parties began. A similar compromise would be made with the Democratic Party who initially wanted to limit the number of beds that ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) The nation was divided and stuck in a stalemate, and it took a lot of talking, arguments, and failed legislation end this. However, on January 25th after some compromises, lots of back and forth between top positions, and a delayed State of the Union Speechfunding for the federal government was finally guaranteed until February 15th. Now obviously that was an extremely generalized run over of the shutdown, but this is all the main things that you need to know. As for what could have been another potential shutdown, we thankfully avoided this as both parties were able to come to a compromise that ensures the government stays open.