Longest government shutdown continues

by Sienna Attema


According to BBC, the longest shutdown in American history will come to an end once President Donald Trump receives funding for a border wall. Because of the government shutdown, some government tasks have not been completed. Websites are left insecure, and nonessential food inspections have stopped. Many programs, such as the Food and Drug Administration, have also encountered funding issues.

Trump is asking for $5.7 billion for a wall on the Mexican border, which Democrats in Congress refuse to pay. This wall, which Trump promised during his campaign, is believed by Trump followers to keep out illegal immigrants, who bring in crime and take American jobs. Democrats believe that the wall is too costly, ineffective, and immoral because it keeps out people who are fleeing poverty and violence. Since they have not been able to come to an agreement, the shutdown continues.

Due to the shutdown, farmers have not been able to receive promised aid, employees have not been collecting subsidies for housing costs, and national parks have struggled with limited funds. Some cities have covered the costs for national monuments, such as the Statue of Liberty, and some individuals have even pitched in to cover National Park costs.

The shutdown, which started on Dec. 22, leaves many employees without pay. Essential employees like prison guards, court staff, and airport security continue working, but nonessential employees like research scientists, national museum staff, and park staff have not been working. Employees both essential and nonessential have been without pay since late December.

People everywhere have felt the effects of the shutdown, including some students from PCHS. “Our family has a USDA loan to be able to purchase a house, but it is inaccessible due to the shutdown,” said one freshman.

Other families have been affected as well, including those of staff. “My son-in-law has been working without pay for a couple of weeks,” said biology teacher Audra Faber. “He is a farm bill biologist, so part of his paycheck comes from the federal government. So last week and this week his paycheck was affected.”

Students saw the effects of the shutdown firsthand this month. “During winterim, we weren’t able to to take our field trip to the National Weather Service because of the shutdown,” said freshman Sydney Nunnikhoven.

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