Was the Government Shutdown Really Worth It?

: Reporter Caroline Weishaar
Reporter Caroline Weishaar

“A government shutdown is when non-essential discretionary federal programs close. It occurs when Congress fails to appropriate funds,” thebalance.com states. From Dec. 21 until Jan. 25 this happened to the United States government. Those 35 days were the longest the government has ever closed in U.S. history.

This historic shutdown began after Democrats refused to fund President Donald Trump’s border wall in this year’s budget. The Democrats believed the money used to build the wall could be better spent on increased technology to scan immigrants at the border and to hire more immigration judges, not to build a colossal metal wall. On the other hand, many Republicans argued the wall was necessary for border security to stop immigrants from illegally entering the country. It is estimated that Trump’s proposed wall would stop 144,000 immigrants while providing jobs to low-skilled workers.

This disagreement put the U.S. government at a standstill and negatively affected the entire country. While the U.S. government was shut down, many critical employees were working without pay and other non-critical employees were sent home without any pay. This forced many families to take out loans to pay essential bills and caused a panic in many homes across the nation.

Non-governmental workers around the country also felt the effect of the shutdown as airports experienced delays, national parks were closed, and many federal civil court cases were delayed. According to msnbc.com, the 5-week shutdown “cost the economy $11 billion.” Yes. Billion. With Trump seeking $6 billion in his proposition for the border wall, the shutdown cost the U.S almost double what he was proposing. In the meantime, Trump made no progress in his project and the American citizens suffered as a result. 

Personally, I believe these negative consequences outweigh the need for a wall that many citizens see as a social injustice against our neighbors. The negative consequences of the government shutdown outweigh the (possible) benefits of the wall. 

The government has been reopened, but only temporarily. Trump signed a bill to fund the government for just 3 weeks, so the discussions about border security can continue.



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