The United States Government Shutdown and Its Effects

By Cameron Hildebrand

The United States Federal Government began the third shutdown of Trump's presidency on December 22, 2018.

This shutdown has been classified as temporary until Trump receives his funding for his overly obsessive wall. The shutdown is taking place due to Trump not signing the Senate-approved short term funding bill solely because it lacked the money to put towards Trump’s border wall.

This shutdown has been proven to be unique. At this point, the President has proven that he is not willing to compromise, and both sides are fully split. Nine out of fifteen federal departments have been furloughed, or are forcing their employees to work without pay.

According to CBS News, these departments that are closed include Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Homeland Security, Interior, State, Transportation, Treasury and Housing and Urban Development. Businesses that are closed include The National Zoo, national parks, The Smithsonian museums, and the National Gallery of Art. The IRS has mostly stopped working, all but 12%.

While federal courts are still open, immigration courts have been closed and has postponed 800,000 cases. Despite this, passport services are still open. This includes being able to renew passports at several facilities including by mail and in person.

Other services that are still operating consists of social security checks, Medicare and Medicaid, and Veterans are still receiving their benefits.

According to Business Insider, on average, previous shutdowns have only lasted eight days. The longest shutdown in history that came in 1995-1996 lasted 21 days. Trump also ranks fourth in total shutdown days for modern presidents. He follows Carter with 67 days, and Clinton and Reagan with 28 days.

Most shutdowns are not severe, but the current shutdown has become tied for the third longest and Trump has been the only president to furlough employees while his party is in control of Congress.

As reported by CNN, a U.S. Muslim youth group has been cleaning up the national parks. This group goes by the name of Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association. The group is based out of Philadelphia close to Independence Hall, which is the birthplace of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

Since 2016, the group has logged 200,000 hours in clean up projects. The leader of the association feels as if, “Service to ur nation and cleanliness are important of Islam.” The Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association is the largest of its kind in the US with more than 70 chapters and 5,000 all male members.

Since the shutdown, the youth association has cleaned up litter, emptied garbage cans, and swept up grounds. Some of the places they have conquered to clean consist of the Everglades National Park in Florida, the Joshua Tree National Park in California, the Cuyahoga Valley in Ohio, and the National Mall in Washington. To add, the general public has acknowledged the groups actions and reached out to them via social media to join their efforts.

As of January 8, 2018, there is not resolution in sight for this shutdown. In a CNN poll 55% of Americans blame Republicans for the shutdown. On Tuesday evening, President Trump plans to take case for the border wall in a National Address. Per New York Times, the Democratic leaders of the House of Representatives and Senate released a statement demanding equal television time on Tuesday when they pressure the Republicans to reopen the government.

However, much more is being affected by this shutdown. CNN news has posted a list of personal stories that citizens have shared. Actions such as adoptions are not being finalized due to paycheck holds. People are being shut off of their healthcare plans, due to not having the ability of paying their bills. This also applies to consumers being cut off from water, electricity, and phone companies.

Federal employees are the most affected group to this shutdown. Some are even applying for unemployment or considering other jobs. Workers with young children are also losing their daycare spots because they are unable to pay babysitters.

Below average income families are also struggling quite a bit. There have been records of more people becoming homeless because their house has been taken from them because they can not pay any bills. To add, little to no food has been reported in a huge percentage of American households. With all of these inconveniences, it is causing health problems to rise, and in some cases hospitals are having to hold up life saving treatments because of the fact that members are being shut off of their healthcare.