The government shutdown, what does it mean for you?


@realDonaldTrump posted on Twitter, Jan. 5th, 2019.

Nathalia Davila

If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past month, I’m sure you aware of the current partial government shutdown. As you may know, Trump campaigned on the basis of “a huge wall along the US-Mexico border paid for by Mexico” as a method of illegal immigration control. However, the controversy over the wall has moved from a moral argument to a financial one. Opinions vary on how much money Congress should designate for the Wall; Trump wants $5 billion which the Democrats are unwilling to agree upon. Since spending bills need bipartisan support (support from both parties since Republicans do not have enough members to meet the 60-vote requirement) to pass, the results have been inconclusive and the government has shut down. This does not mean we are living in a month-long purge where all crime is legal. It is entirely different in fact, laws are still enforced and for the most part, little has changed.


So how does this impact YOU?


Many National Parks are affected: roads, lookouts, trails, and outside memorials (like the National Mall in D.C.) are still open to visitors but access to emergency services is limited. Restrooms, visitor centers, information kiosks, ranger talks, and other education programs are not running.


Interested in getting a passport or your tax returns? Sorry, the State Department has stopped providing passports and the IRS is unable to process tax returns.


If federal workers are called into work, they will not be paid for their labor. Based on precedent, all federal employees are likely to be paid post-shutdown, even employees who were “furloughed” (ordered to stay home).


Additionally, law enforcement and corrections officers, Homeland Security & Transportation Security Administration workers, Customs & Border Protection agents, and Coast Guard employees are among those required to work without any guarantee of payment. The shutdown is disastrous for Americans struggling to provide for their families and pay necessary bills and rent. While we are unaware of how long the shutdown will proceed for, President Trump has indicated that it could be a “very long time”. If Trump is genuinely concerned with national security, why is he not paying dedicated employees who work unrelentlessly to protect our country?