Longest Government Shutdown in U.S. History



Gauri Midha '21, Lifestyle Editor

It is currently day 34 of the longest U.S Government Shutdown in recorded history. The shutdown started December 22nd, and is the second shutdown mandated by Trump. The United States Government’s last shutdown in 1996 (the longest Government shutdown until 2018) was mandated as a result of a dispute between Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich and President Bill Clinton over taxes and lasted 21 days. Our current shutdown is a result of discord between the president and congress over the $5.7 billion spending plan needed to build a wall surrounding the southern border of the United States.

The Government Shutdown continues to affect the lives of many. Government workers mostly work paycheck to paycheck and, without money coming in, they have been struggling to get food on the table. 420,000 government workers are currently living without pay, without knowing when the shutdown will end. A significant number of TSA workers have stopped working. If this continues, airports will become more overcrowded and chaotic. The closed national parks are being broken into and vandalized. FDA workers are not being paid, and, because of the shutdown, they legally cannot accept any new medical advice or drug submissions. Many stores cannot even accept food stamps, meaning that people who already struggle to provide food are facing yet another challenge. The Smithsonian museums have been closed, and The Coast Guard has been working without pay.

On January 3rd the House agreed on a bill that would fund all departments except Homeland Security, but the Senate refused to vote because of Trump’s opposition. Both democrats and republicans agree that the United States needs to improve its border security, but neither can compromise on a way to do so. Donald Trump is ready to call a National Emergency to get the funds needed to build the wall, which would allow him to gain specials abilities under the National Emergencies Act of 1976.