Joshua Roberts | Reuters
The government shutdown began December 21st, 2018, for multiple reasons including disagreement between President Donald Trump and congress over funding for a concrete wall along the Mexico border.
According The Balance, the shutdown has resulted in 400,00 essential government employees working without pay. Another 380,000 non-essential government employees have been furloughed, meaning they are temporarily laid off. This current government shutdown is considered a partial shutdown, since the majority of the government has already been funded.
A government shutdown happens when Congress is unable to approve a fiscal budget for the year. As result, the government will shutdown until an agreement with the budget is made. A shutdown doesn’t mean that all federal operations stop and all government employees are without work, only the ones that are considered non-essential.
Leading up to the current government shutdown, on December 11th, Democratic congressional leaders met with Donald Trump to negotiate the budget. Trump wanted the budget to include $5 billion to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border; however Democrats disagreed and instead offered $1.3 billion to continue current border-security funding. It includes border fencing and levee walls, but no concrete wall.
As of January 4th, President Trump threatened to keep the shutdown going for months, or even years until Congress included funding for a wall. He also suggested he may declare a national emergency to build the wall without Congressional funding.
The shutdown has put many families in tough places during the holiday season. It can be difficult for families where a parent has been furloughed to support themselves and pay bills or food.
“My older brother is a security guard in Washington D.C. and he was furloughed recently. Thankfully my parents will be able to support him if he needs any help”, said Ashley Deeson, a sophomore.
As of January 11th, the government will have been partially shutdown for 20 days.