By Apple Parry
This story initially ran in Issue 6, published January 22, 2019.
Today marks the 32nd day of the longest government shutdown yet, and there is no end in sight.
Federal employees will not be paid until after appropriation bills, which allow government spending, are passed into law.
In September, all funding requests for the next calendar year were either approved or declined by the House and Senate. If a request is not approved by the New Year, a shutdown is a possibility.
The shutdown will last until the House and Senate agree on a solution. When it’s over, employees are entitled to back pay.
In the meantime, workers will be scrambling to pay for necessities.
Nearly 800,000 government workers, including our military, did not receive a paycheck for their most recent pay period.
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders recently tweeted: “President Trump said that ‘nobody has been better at the military’ than him. So why is he keeping the government shutdown and leaving 42,000 service members without paychecks for the first time in history?”
Not only is Trump making employees work without pay, but he’s asking soldiers to continue to risk their lives – without pay.
While I’m not in the military, nor a federal employee, I do attend a federally funded school. Although I’m not personally affected by this, there are a plethora of concerns I have for the long-term outcome this will have across America.
For example, 70% of the 7.3 million students enrolled in the districts that are part of the council are signed up for free and reduced lunch.
Students who rely on schools for food might be in trouble if the shutdown lasts through March.
After March, the schools will have to use their “rainy day” savings or pull funding from extracurricular activities in order to accommodate food prices.
Imagine telling these children that they can no longer go to their favorite after school activity, because the school has to use that money to feed them now.
Trump recently tweeted, “Great being with the National Champion Clemson Tigers last night at the White House. Because of the Shutdown I served them massive amounts of Fast Food (I paid), over 1000 hamburgers etc. Within one hour, it was all gone. Great guys and big eaters!”
Well Trump, since you’re feeling generous, why don’t you buy lunch for the 30 million children signed up for free and reduced lunch that you’ve screwed over?
Rapper Cardi B chimed in on the situation on her Instagram, posting a video in which she voiced her profanity-ridden opinion, bringing up the length of time the shutdown has dragged on, and stressing that this needs to be taken care of and handled.
Cardi B would like to stress that she isn’t weighing in on political subjects for “clout,” she is genuinely interested in political science, and is concerned for the citizens of America.
Cardi also mentioned former President Barack Obama’s shutdown, not using it to excuse Trump, but rather to call him out. After all it is such a stupid and illogical reason.
When Obama shut the government down in 2013, it only lasted 16 days. Obama had two appropriation bills on the table.
His goals were to acquire enough funding for Obamacare, which was already a law, which requires everyone to have health insurance, and raise the debt limit, which is the amount of money the government can spend.
The shutdown ended when the House and Senate compromised, regarding the debt raise, which in turn allowed funding for Obamacare.
Let’s compare, shall we?
Trump has said he intends to stick with the shutdown for however long it takes to get his way. He only had one issue, this issue is not a law, and it benefits absolutely no one. In fact it could be genuinely damaging to the surrounding ecosystems.
The butterfly effect that this will cause could be completely detrimental to the economy alone. Not having a constant flow of paying and spending will damage all kinds of businesses, and everyone involved.
This not a presidential action. It is not an act of patriotism. It’s an immature act of exclusion, which proves the president doesn’t even take the citizens of this country into account. Well, if they were rich he might at least blink an eye.