Government shutdown, more like money drop-down


art by Bryan Delgado

Yahir Zapata, Reporter

The government shut down, Dec. 21 to Jan. 25, was the longest in U.S. history. The 35-day partial shutdown was unnecessary and negatively affected the economy.

The partial shutdown discontinued all non-essential discretionary agency functions until new funding legislation is passed and signed into law. A partial shutdown is different from a full government shutdown because only non funded government agencies are closed. In any case government employees  are not paid during a shutdown, but Trump did not care.

Federal workers furloughed during a shutdown don’t get paid, after the shutdown is over the government pays employees, but contractors such as janitorial services get no back pay. Essential services are excluded from the furloughs, and some employees may have to work without pay such as the Secret Service which includes over 7,000 employees, almost 6,000 went without pay.

Last December appropriation bills were passed anonymously by the Republican-controlled Senate and looked likely to be approved by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and even Trump. But after being criticized by media conservatives accusing Trump of backing down from his promise to “build a wall,” he said he wasn’t going to sign any bill that didn’t fund the wall.

In January the new Democrat-controlled House of Representatives immediately decided to pass the bills, (with no funding for the wall) but Trump stated that he would veto any bill not related to funding the wall, and this is how the shutdown started.

The government lost $11 billion due to lost output from federal workers, delayed government spending and reduced demand. The Democrats made Trump two offers to stop the shutdown, but none were approved by Trump. Even Trump had made an offer in which he promised limited ‘Dreamer’ protections for the $5.7 billion for the wall but Democrats quickly said no.

The shutdown is temporarily over but Trump said that if he doesn’t get $5.7 billion for the wall by Feb.15, he may shut the government down as posted in “Trump Is Already Laying the Groundwork for Another Government Shutdown,” by Adam K. Raymond in New York Magazine, Jan. 28. The deadline looms.

Overall shutdowns are useless and the last one was devastating. Shutdowns won’t stop until Trump gets the wall he wants, a wall which most of the country does not want.

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