The United States partial government shut down is now the longest running in national history, with a duration of over 21 days. All over a petty dispute for a wall.
This is appalling. The government shut down is negatively impacting people all over our country and our leaders sit in Washington, unmoving, while millions suffer the consequences. And the reason for this shut down is not worth its effects. The border wall is already completely unnecessary and a complete waste of funds, but now our citizens are reaping the harmful results of it.
Our government officials are still getting paid to hold our government hostage while over 800,000 federal workers are having their paychecks withheld. These employees are still expected to perform their government jobs without pay, which is unjust on many levels. There is a record number of workers calling in sick at this time because of the shutdown, and I don’t blame them. How these employees will make ends meet without money doesn’t seem to be on the minds of our government executives.
Of course, the fault of this shutdown can primarily be attributed to President Donald Trump and our Republican-led Senate. Republican Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, blocked the Senate Democrats’ move to reopen the government. Additionally, the president is going to veto any bill that doesn’t include the full $5 billion dollar funding for the border wall, and since the Senate is mainly GOP, it is highly unlikely that his vetos will be overruled.
For a president that constantly preaches “America first,” his ridiculously headstrong approach to this crucial situation is tremendous hypocrisy. A myriad of Americans are being harmed by this shutdown, with families not receiving the money they need to keep going, so how is that putting America first? It seems that our Americans are being pushed to the side to support a ludicrous notion that a wall would actually increase U.S. security.
I could go on and on about how immensely unnecessary this wall is, and how the idea of it derives from internal racism, but I would like to touch on the fact that Trump demands five billion dollars for this wall. First of all, Trump’s campaign was built off of his claims that Mexico would pay for this wall (keep in mind that the NAFTA deal the president claims is paying for the wall is in actuality not doing so, that is not how trade deals work), so him requiring this money from the U.S. government now makes no sense. Additionally, five billion dollars of our government’s money could be much better spent. How about we feed the hungry in our country or conduct prison reform or institutionalize efforts at reducing global warming or improve public education for youth with all that money? Now that looks more like putting America first to me.
Overall, this government shutdown has lasted a ridiculously long amount of time and it is hurting people on a national level. The useless border wall is not worth this, but unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be hope of a deal passing through anytime soon.