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The Impacts of the Longest Government Shutdown in the U.S. History

Feb 15, 2023 | 0 comments

Feb 15, 2023 | Essays | 0 comments

A government shutdown, in reference to the politics of the United States, happens when the Congress does not pass, or when the President fails to sign agencies, and the appropriations funding federal legislation of the operations of the government. The federal government shutdown in the United States happened in 2018 to 2019 on 22nd December 2018 up to 25 January 2019 making a 35 days’ government shutdown. Notably, in history, it was the longest government shutdown in the United States as well as the government second federal shutdown that involved furloughs during the reigns of Mr. Trump.

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The government shutdown took place when President Donald Trump Republican and the United States 15th Congress did not come to an agreement on the bill appropriations of funding the federal government operations for the fiscal year of 2019, or a temporary resolution continuity focused on extending the bill passing deadline. The Anti-deficiency Act that led to the government shutdown prohibited federal agencies or departments from carrying out non-essential actions without the presence of the appropriations legislation. Consequently, executive departments, around nine of them with approximately 800,000 employees were partially shut down or fully shut down, impacting on more than one-fourth of the activities of the government resulting to forcing of employees to work or furloughing of employees without pay. The office of Congressional Budget approximated the cost of the shutdown to the economy of America to a total of about $ 11 billion, with exclusions of the indirect costs that were not possible to quantify (Gelman et al, 21).

To start with, I believe that even though the government shutdown was supposed to bring out good news through the building of the security wall to stop drug trafficking, massive crime, gangs invasion, and human trafficking in the Southern Border, the shutdown resulted to a significant decrease in the approval rate of President Trump. Remarkably, a good number of Americans were against the shutdown as they regarded it as a strategy of exploitation, pointing a figure on Mr. Trump as being accountable for the government shutdown. Noteworthy, according to the results from the News poll of the CBS, about 71 percent of the Americans termed the construction of the border wall as “not worth” for the government shutdown. Besides, in reference to the Washington Post poll as well as the ABC news, both revealed that about 53 percent of the Americans had all the blames on the Republicans and the president for the shutdown, even though a 34 percent of the Americans had their blames on the Democrats with 10 percent blaming the two parties (Gelman et al, 13). Thus, with examinations of the poll percentages, my opinion is that the government shutdown was so exploitative and the building of the southern border will never equal to the exploitative effects of the government shutdown, hence not worth.

On top of this, due to the government shutdown, more than 800,000 employees in the federal, as well as the natives who mainly depended on the government, were hurt as a result of the shutdown (Gelman et al, 11). Worth mentioning, with a fast, peeking above his bubble, Mr. Trump was supposed to learn a lot on the government employees legions and contractors who had to spent the best part of the holiday season hurting on how the next payment of their mortgage or their grocery store trips or electric bill in case the political charade dragged much longer. With high considerations of how the government shutdown had inflicted much pain on the Americans whose lives had been negatively affected in different ways, in my opinion, the government shutdown to build the security wall was not worth the lives of American Citizens.

Additionally, President Trump insisted on $ 5.7 billion in funding the security border wall. He argued that a security and humanitarian crisis existed in regards to the southern border that was a must to be addressed before the end of the government shutdown. On the other hand, Democrats insisted that there was no crisis big enough to equal to a shutdown, and there was a need to reopen the government before starting any negotiations on the release of any money to fund border security wall building (Gelman et al, 2). I think that as the Democrats have stated on the lack of a crisis that can equal to a government shutdown, the amount of money to be released or the time required for the negotiations in releasing the money is a lot, thus the government operations that were on hold were more important than the building of the security wall.

Most importantly, the building of the security wall was President Trump political action because as documented, Mr. Trump was almost signing a deal on a short term basis involving congressional Democrats in keeping open the government up to 2019 without any funds being released for the funding of the wall, of which he reversed his ideal immediately. This happened because Trump’s base conflicted at his idea of possibly going back on his promise during the campaign of building the wall. The base argued that, if Mr. Trump took that action, he would get nothing in return with the Democrats getting the victory. However, according to Mr. Trump, he did not seem to accept that the security wall was based on political actions but he said that the wall was primarily a border security issue (Gelman et al, 20). Nonetheless, from every Americans’ perspective, the government shutdown was an issue of Mr. Trump’s personal political insecurity since when the Democrats will start raging on him, he will just back off and lose track in front of everyone. Hence, in my opinion, the government shutdown was not the right decision the President made because it was due to political insecurity and the reason was not strong enough to make Americans go through such exploitation.

Conversely, even though the government shutdown affected the Americans negatively, the security wall would result in positive impacts. For example, who does not wish to live in a country free from drug trafficking, human trafficking, gang crisis, or massive crisis? According to Donald Trump, the security wall was supposed to be the beginning of an end to all these crimes since no border security can be achieved without the existence of a wall. He remarked that the technology and the drones were just whistles and bells. For a fact, the American President knew that immigration, which would be stopped by the security wall, was the most important issue cared by his base and that what made him with the 2016 presidential election. Thus, his strongholds were keen on the betrayal signs of the President’s failure to fund the wall, thus a resolution on the money release for the funding of the wall should be negotiated to first stop the government shutdown then release money for the funding of the security wall.

Works Cited

Gelman, Michael, et al. *How individuals smooth spending: Evidence from the 2019 government shutdown using account data*. National Bureau of Economic Research, 2019.

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