Government Shutdown Makes Waves

Kyle Ahn, Writer

From December 21 to January 25, the federal government was partially shut down due to President Donald Trump’s refusal to pass a federal spending bill that did not include $5.6 billion of federal funding for his long-promised border wall on the Southern Border.

This disagreement between President Trump and congressional Democrats created the longest government shutdown in United States history.

The biggest issue about the government shutdown was that 800,000 federal workers across the United States were either forced to work without pay or furloughed off of work until proper funding was allocated by the government.

While these effects were broadcasted on mainstream news networks, some Sea Kings were facing the consequences first hand.

“My father is an employee of the Air Traffic Control at LAX,” Junior Katelin O’Connell said.

“In addition to suffering an injury in December, he was told to report back to work in January without pay.”

Many federal workers faced a heavy burden and financial obstacles when the time came to pay bills and expenses.

“My sister had to live on a tight budget while supporting her four children,” history teacher Christina Varela said.

Varela’s sister is a meat inspector for the USDA and was required to work throughout the duration of the shutdown without pay.

“Sometimes, she had to dip into her savings to pay for her expenses and support her family,” she said.

As the shutdown grew longer towards its 35th day, the public began mounting pressure on the President. According to a poll conducted by Politico, 54% of voters blamed President Trump and Republicans for the shutdown and 50% of voters oppose the construction of the border wall.

“The whole shutdown came down to the funding for his border wall,” Varela said. “Five billion dollars can be spent on better things like our schools and our veterans.”

By the February 15 deadline, a bipartisan congressional bill was drafted, giving only 55 miles of border fencing with $1.375 billion dollars for border security instead of the $5.7 billion President Trump requested.

President Trump signed the spending bill, but has decided to declare a National Emergency on the southern border. His decision was frowned upon by both Democrats and Republicans, citing that his declaration of a national emergency was an example of executive overreach and would set a bad precedent for succeeding presidents.

Because this situation can be considered conflicting to the Constitution, President Trump’s declaration may go through the judicial system and end up in the Supreme Court as 16 states, including California, and the ACLU plan on suing the Trump Administration.