A government shutdown occurs when nonessential government offices are closed due to a lack of funding, which happens when there is a holdup in approving a federal budget for the upcoming year. The recent shutdown started on December 22nd when President Donald J. Trump requested $5.7 billion in funding for a U.S.-Mexico border wall, and a majority in Congress would not agree to provide said funding. I have asked three students to express their knowledge and opinions on the government shutdown:
Did you think that the government shutdown was necessary? Why or why not?
Laura: “No, Congress was ready to pass a budget bill quite some time ago, even with the two houses controlled by opposite parties. Trump caused the shutdown because he wanted to push his own political agenda.”
Hannah: “I found the government shutdown to be completely unnecessary, and it was obvious that it was the result of President Trump throwing a “temper tantrum” because he wasn’t getting the money he wanted for his wall. Any reasonable politician would have recognized that this was an issue that was very polarized, and therefore should be dealt with using a different approach than ‘I’ll shut down the government until I get what I want.’
Leslie: “The government shutdown was not necessary because President Trump was throwing yet another tantrum. Although he believes the wall will keep illegal immigrants out of the country, he should focus on more important things such as our poor education system or the Flint water crisis.”
Where would you place blame for the government shutdown? Why?
Laura: “I would blame the President because Congress could have resolved this and presented a budget bill long ago, preventing a shutdown, but Trump refused to sign any bill that did not provide funding for his wall.”
Hannah: “I blame President Trump for the shutdown because he was “proud” to shutdown the government and did not care about the impact that it would have on our country. Many news outlets even stated that his advisors warned him against moving into a shutdown but he chose to do it anyway, thus the blame completely falls on his shoulders.”
Leslie: “I would place blame on President Trump because he called for the shutdown and demonstrated that he cares more for the wall than the American people. More than 800,000 federal workers were forced to work without pay and will to not be paid if the shutdown commences again in three weeks.”
What compromise would you have suggested that could have prevented the shutdown?
Laura: “As I do not believe in building a wall along the Southern border, one compromise I perhaps would have offered to the President would be to allow the hiring of more border patrol agents, or conceding to some other part of his agenda that would be less wasteful and unnecessary.”
Hannah: “Since it is obvious through polling numbers that the majority of Americans are against a wall, or physical barrier, a smarter deal would have been to ask for money in the budget to put toward border security in a humane form. Obviously there would need to be much greater detail in whatever legislation was written, but this way the Republican Party can get what they want in terms of border security and we aren’t wasting billions of taxpayer dollars on a stupid wall.”
Leslie: “I would have proposed stricter immigration laws rather than shutting the government down and taking food from the mouths of Federal Workers.”
How has the government shutdown affected you?
Laura: “I was unable to access some databases for scholarly articles during the shutdown. I am fortunate enough that I was not affected in the way that some people were, by losing paychecks or having the processing of official documents delayed.”
Hannah: “My mom is a federal employee and has been out of work since the shutdown began. Luckily the budget for her department was approved in September so she was still getting paid, but it caused tremendous stress at her office that will probably take months to get over.”
Leslie: “The government shutdown did not affect my family nor me in the sense of lack of pay.”
Though these students do not speak for everyone, it has been shown that an overwhelming majority of Millennials and Gen. Z’ers go not approve of President Trump and his administration. The recent government shutdown, being the longest in history, lasted 35 days, ending on January 25th. However, the government is only open for three weeks, during which Trump and Congress would have to come to an agreement on funding. If no agreement can be made, the government will shut down again on February 16th.
Jordan S. Adams is 19 years old. He attends Johns Hopkins University, majoring in Writing Seminars and Philosophy. His favorite book is “The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore” by Benjamin Hale. Jordan finds success in the path he takes to achieve his goals and dreams. He steps up for teaching, motivating, and helping children.