The Solitaire

Government shut down

What is a government shutdown? Every year Congress must pass a spending bill, called an appropriations bill, for the president to sign off on. When no agreement is made, the government shuts down. A government shutdown is when non-essential government agencies are taken out of commission. In practice this means services, such as visa and passport processing, are put on hold, and hundreds of thousands of federal employees must go without work, according to nytimes.com. Services such as national security, electricity generation and air-traffic control would remain active, though members of the military would have to work without pay, according to bbc.com. It is worth noting that in the time of the shut down, our congressmen and women didn’t receive the same halt in pay.

At 12:00 a.m., January 19, the US congress had failed to come to an agreement about the year’s budget.

 

And at 12:01 a.m., the government shut down.

 

The clock had barely hit 12:02 a.m. before politicians of both sides erupted in accusations over who was to blame for this, with many quick to point out that Republicans hold both houses of Congress and the White House.  The primary issue dividing the Senate is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, an immigration program that protects young immigrants who were brought here as children. Senate Democrats refused to vote for the spending bill as a way to try to force Congress to pass protections on DACA, as it is set to expire March 5 in accordance to the president’s immigration plan, according to dailycal.com.

 

“I believe that the government shutdown was irresponsible,” senior Max Frank said. “Politicians are civil servants, and I believe that they should not have the ability to stop serving while on public dime.”

 

After 3 days of deliberation, Senate Democrats folded and voted to pass a temporary spending bill that would fund the government through February 9. A major contributor to this deal was the agreement to fund the children’s health insurance program for six years, according to vox.com. With a new deadline fast approaching, both parties have resolved to some kind of agreement in regards to DACA, though it is unclear as of the time of writing what that agreement will look like.

 

“The process will be neutral and fair to all sides,” Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said, according to Politico.com. “We expect that a bipartisan bill on [DACA] will receive fair consideration and an up-or-down vote on the floor.”

 

President Trump has said in regards to DACA that he will make no agreement on it if it does not also include funding for the border wall.

 

“We want DACA to happen,” Trump said, according to cnn.com. “I think I can speak for everybody, we all want DACA to happen, but we also want great security for our country.”

 

If Congress can not come to an agreement on a spending bill by February 9, the government will once again shutdown.

 

“Our government needs to compromise amongst themselves, as acting as if their solution is the only solution,” Frank said. “Our government has become much too partisan and the parties themselves have become too radical. To truly represent the American people, I believe the parties should propose their own plan but then make a compromise of both. That way our nation is represented appropriately.”

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Government shut down