69-HOUR GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN
By Stephanie Sawaked
Most of us students have probably not heard of a government shutting down or what it means.
A shutdown is when the Executive Branch must intervene when Congress and the President cannot come to an agreement and pass a bill on funding federal operations. For most of us with nonfederal jobs such as retail service industry, etc., it sounds like it would not affect us much.
The disagreement came when President Trump wanted to increase federal spending for the military, border security and the infamous wall, but did not want to increase spending on immigration or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which helped to insure to as many as 700,000 children.
The Dreamers are immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children. Funding for The Dreamers was cut in September and given six months to create a replacement program. Democratic Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer and President Trump could not agree on legislation that would enable The Deferred Actions for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to give these illegal immigrants in the U.S. a two-year deferred action from deportation, with an opportunity to stay and work.
The New York Times reported Schumer agreed to more military spending and discussed fully funding the president’s request for a border wall in exchange for an agreement from the president to support legalizing the Dreamers. Trump, reportedly, was negotiating $25 billion for wall funding in order for him to push back the DACA deadline.
The government shutdown:
• requests nonessential employees not work (some State Department workers, U.S. intelligence agencies, IRS and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
• mail continues to be delivered
• airports operate as normal (TSA employees will not be paid but will receive backpay when government is reopened.)
• military, national parks and Justice Department will remain at full strength (all will receive back pay)
Imagine having to go to work knowing you are not getting paid, on time at least.
The Senate Democrats eventually agreed to reopen the government after striking a deal with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on progressing laws in the future about immigration. Although some democrats don’t believe McConnell can be trusted, they were under pressure to conjure an agreement that was eventually signed by Trump.
Their agreement states: a bill will be brought to the Senate floor for debate if an immigration deal isn’t reached by Feb. 8 and has conditioned the Senate Democrats cannot shut down the government again on Feb. 8 when the most recent short-term spending bill expires; and the immigration debate would have a fair and open amendment process.