Government Shut Down Ends After Three Days, But the Issues Remain Unsolved

by Sanders Jett-Folk

At midnight on January 20th, the United States Federal Government entered a shutdown as a result of Congress being unable to pass a bill to fund the government for the next year. [1]

The funding bill, called the Extension of Continuing Appropriations Act 2018, would’ve extended government funding through February 16th, by which point, another bill would have had to be passed. [2] The bill passed in the House of Representatives, but then failed in the Senate. While it was primarily a party line vote, five Democrats voted for it, and five Republicans voted against it. [3] As a result of the bill’s failure, the government shutdown began at midnight. [1]

Many people across the country were affected by the shutdown. Most non-essential government employees were either sent home from work early, or told not to show up to work at all. Several national parks and monuments were either closed or open with only limited services, as most park officials and rangers were told not to work during the shutdown. Several government agencies, such as the Department of Education and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, had over 90% of their employees furloughed. [4]

While government agencies and services limited their operations due to the lack of funding, Democrats and Republicans stood at party lines to point blame at one another. Republicans referred to the shutdown as the “Schumer Shutdown,” referring to the Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. On the other end of the spectrum, “#TrumpShutdown” became the top trending hashtag on Twitter. [5] Some polls found that the majority of Americans blamed President Donald Trump and the Republican Party for the government shutdown, while other polls showed that both parties share the blame. [6]

The shutdown came to an end on January 23rd, after the passing of a bill that will fund the federal government until February 8th. The bill passed the Senate 81-18, and then in the House 266-150. President Trump signed the bill soon after. Democrats agreed to pass the bill, in exchange for there to be debate on the Senate floor to protect young immigrants who were brought to the US as children. The current program, called DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), has been a heated conversation in the Senate since Trump moved to end the program back in September 2017. [7]

After the shutdown ended, President Trump took to Twitter to tweet that the shutdown was a “Big win for Republicans as Democrats cave on Shutdown. Now I want a big win for everyone, including Republicans, Democrats and DACA, but especially for our Great Military and Border Security. Should be able to get there. See you at the negotiating table!” [8]

Junior Danny Morris said, “I think Democrats lost the shutdown. They got nothing out of it. [Senate Majority Leader] McConnell didn’t even promise to hold a vote on DACA. Nothing was gained by the Democrats.”

Junior Ben Tekin commented, “Democrats should have tried to negotiate more with the shutdown. They lost in the end. Nothing even happened, and nothing will until they pass a new, proper budget.”

Sophomore Jason Escobar stated, “The Democrats lost in the shutdown. They didn’t get anything out of it. They just angered their base and wasted billions of taxpayer dollars in the process.”

The Senate will need to pass a new budget bill by February 8th in order to avoid another shutdown.