What a Shame? US Government Shutdown Reaching 31 Days Creates a History
Mangaluru: This shutdown by US Government under the Presidentship of Donald Trump brought back memories of the two shutdowns while I was in USA from 1990 until 2013. During the Bill Clinton administration, there were two full government shutdowns during 1995 and 1996 lasting five and 21 days respectively, based on disagreement on whether to cut government services. During the Barack Obama administration, a 16-day government shutdown occurred during October 2013 over Democrats and Republicans not coming to an agreement for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known colloquially as Obamacare. Three funding gaps have occurred during the Donald Trump administration: a three-day shutdown during January 2018; a funding gap that occurred overnight on February 9, 2018, which did not result in workers being furloughed (not included in list below); and an ongoing shutdown that began during December 2018, over proposed funding for a US–Mexico border wall. And this shutdown may be the longest in the history of America.
And the bad part is that I had voted for all these three presidents- Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, while I was still in Chicago, USA, and I changed parties, by voting for Republican candidate Donald Trump online right here from Mangaluru ( as a US Citizen), due to his unique plans, one of them dealing with illegal immigrants- but now I feel ashamed of my choices that I made, in electing these three presidents. Oh well, its sad to note that a strongest nation in the world, USA, which supports rest of the world in the time of needs, had to shutdown the government, for 31 days, putting thousands and thousands of workers without receiving payroll cheques.
The second shutdown began on December 22, 2018, and became the longest in US history on 12 January 2019 after surpassing the 21-day shutdown of 1995–1996. The deadlock occurred when Trump sought to include $5.7 billion in funding for a border wall as part of the US government’s spending budget but faced objections from Democrats over questions on the effectiveness of the proposed wall and the amount required to fund it. A Senate vote on the proposed spending bill failed to secure a majority vote to pass it through to Congress,with Trump unable to secure support for the bill by January 2019, knowing that when the Democrats took control of Congress that month following the mid-term elections in 2018, they would effectively block further attempts for funding.
Approximately 420,000 federal workers were required to work without pay, while the remainder were furloughed. The extended shutdown raised considerable financial uncertainty for federal workers, prompting some of those who had to work to call in sick and either find other paid work or to protest against the shutdown, while concerns were raised over the consequences being brought forth, including sharp reductions in SNAP payments and delays towards completing tax refunds worth around $140 billion. Although Trump had two options by 4 January 2019 to end the deadlock – declare a national emergency to bypass Congressional approval for the new border wall, or prolong the shutdown to force Democrats to support funding for it – both had issues if chosen: invoking a national emergency had the potential to face a legal battle from Democrats over the use of such executive powers, while prolonging the shutdown risked his administration facing mounting pressure and increasing the severity of the damage to the US economy.
A congress woman said, “I’m really upset that he’s playing around with the lives of people just because,” she said. “He hasn’t done that only to DACA recipients but also the 800,000 federal workers that are right now without pay, which is absolutely unacceptable. Someday I’ll be a math teacher and I’ll be teaching other students. It’s not like we’re doing anything negative. I feel like we’re a positive impact. So I feel like if we can stay, that would be even better. We’re trying to contribute to the country, not take away. My education will continue despite the shutdown. I plan to transfer to Cal Poly to get my bachelor’s degree soon”.
The government shutdown, now the longest federal closure in American history, has prompted some celebrities to speak up on the continuing standoff between Trump and Democrats. For instance, it sparked a feud between rapper Cardi B, whose real name is Belcalis Almanzar, and Fox News personality Tomi Lahren. After Ms Lahren chided the “Bodak Yellow” singer for speaking out against the government shutdown, Almanzar replied “Leave me alone I will dog walk you.” Lady Gaga also chimed in mid-song during a performance on Las Vegas to weigh in on the government shutdown. “If the f***ing president of the United States could please put our government back,” the “Bad Romance” singer said. “There are people who live paycheck to paycheck and need their money.” Other celebrities have responded to the government shutdown in philanthropic ways, including New Age personality Deepak Chopra and rock musician Jon Bon Jovi. In partnership with GoFundMe, Indian American Chopra donated $10,000 to the company’s crowdfunding campaign for furloughed federal workers. Bon Jovi also offered free meals to government employees on Monday.
After the Democrats took control of the House of Representatives, Trump faced refusal to allow for funding on the border wall from Democrats Nancy Pelosi, House Speaker, and Chuck Schumer, the Senate Minority Leader. A meeting between the three failed to end the deadlock, as Trump refused to discuss ending the shutdown when both Pelosi and Schumer refused to provide the funding he requested. Both parties held televised addresses on January 8, in which Trump sought out support from the nation for a new border wall, while Pelosi and Schumer issued a critical response against it and the extended shutdown. On January 10, Trump reasserted his belief that Mexico would pay for the new wall by stating it would be done through the new trade bill he had arranged in 2018 to replace NAFTA, but critics raised questions over the plausibility of his assertions if Congress approved the bill.
As of January 21, 2019, the 2018–2019 United States government shutdown is in its 31st day.
With inputs from Wikipedia