Opinion: Government Shutdown

Written by Debra Murray

The United States government was shutdown from Dec. 22 through Jan. 25 , which spanned 35 days. As relieving as it may be, it did only last until Feb. 15th. Since campaigning for the 2016 election, President Trump has been discussing the wall, and people have been sharing their opinions ever since.

Shutting down the government was completely selfish on the part of President Trump, as well as Congress. While many citizens will feel unaffected, it actually affects more people than the general public tends to think. Many government employees go without pay. 800,000 federal employees weren’t getting paid during the last government shutdown, and 420,000 federal employees were working without pay. Luckily, they did receive back-pay when the government reopened, but it is still terrible they had to work for weeks without pay. Working without pay could have led to adding worry to government employees about how they would take care of their families.

Some citizens were not even affected, but many who receive government funded benefits could be, such as the Violence Against Women Act (an act that funds various programs for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault). Without the government funding, a lot of government funded programs would not be able to provide the support and protection that some people need.

Even our environment has been damaged, national parks have very few employees, so the parks aren’t being protected the way they normally would. While all park rules are still in place, there are not many people to enforce them, so the parks will not be maintained. Littering became a bigger issue during the shutdown as well.

The shutdown was not benefiting anyone. Our government as a whole needs to consider the lives of the citizens of this country.

 

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