2019 Government Shutdown Continues

Courtesy of Yokota Air Base

Courtesy of Yokota Air Base

Ulia Zaman, Staff Writer

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On Sunday, January 6th, the continuing government shutdown, caused by the debate over five billion dollars in funding for a border wall, reached the record of the third longest in history with no end expected soon.

  The shutdown began on December 22nd when nine federal departments and several smaller agencies (almost a quarter of the federal government) had to shut down due to lack of money and the ongoing budget dispute between the White House and Congress.

  According to White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, President Donald Trump is willing to allow the shutdown for as long as he needs to in order to achieve his goal of building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. This has led to many heated debates and discussions in the public as well as the political world.

  Uzair Pasta (11) said, “The wall that President Trump wants to build will only incite more hate and ignorance. The rhetoric that President Trump uses only places fear in the America people, but we need to remember our core values and what this county was founded on.”

  On the other hand, Democrats believe that building a border wall is an ineffective use of resources. They insist that there are other options for increasing border safety, such as improved technology (i.e. drones and tunnel detection) to monitor the border. Although the Democrats requested a budget justification from the White House on Saturday, since these funds were not included in the administration’s 2019 budget, the White House has not yet provided a justification.

  The shutdown has left over 800,000 federal workers with no jobs. About 420,000 employees are continuing work without pay and approximately 380,000 employees have been told to stay at home.

  Serena Rupani (11) stated, “This is going to do nothing but divide Americans. It is going to create fear among Americans and create problems instead of solving them. For example, the wall will cost billions of dollars and won’t accomplish anything.”

  Although it does not seem like a compromise may be possible any time soon, federal workers are maintaining their hope that this issue will be resolved quickly and they will be able to return to work once again.

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