What Happens When the Government Shuts Down?

People protesting to stop the shutdown.

courtesy of cnbc.com

People protesting to stop the shutdown.

Salma Almoradi, Photojournalist

January 17, 2019, marks the 28th day of the longest government shutdown in history. Lack of coming together to make a decision on the wall that the Trump administration are aiming for left us in a filibuster which caused the government to stop. It is uncommon for the government to shut down but when it does, many factors are affected. When the government shuts down, only essential operations remain open; including military and law enforcement. While the Supreme Court remains open to visitors and carries on with business as usual in the event of a shutdown, employees who are considered to be nonessential do not get paid and therefore many don’t work.

Although they might be considered nonessential, in reality, these people play a very huge role in our everyday lives. Some Health and Human Services are temporarily released. Larger programs like Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and disability insurance are unaffected but processing new applications for these programs could slow down because of the fewer employees around to do them. The Food and Drug Administration has to cancel most of its food safety/ nutrition activities, like food safety inspections. The National Institutes of Health continue for cancer patient care but do not admit new patients or accept new grant proposals. Also, military personnel are expected to show up to work during the shutdown but should not expect to get paid for that period of time. Financial difficulties are forcing people like the TSA to leave their jobs and the airports are left in an absolute mess. If you thought airport lines were overcrowded from before you should see them now!

Furthermore, the National Parks, which are some of the gems of our country, are getting damaged and are being overflowed with lots of garbage. Our National parks are not things that can be restored to new. If this shutdown keeps going for long it can seriously damage our parks and the lives of many of the people that keep our country going.

Negotiations are now being made between the Republicans and the Democrats to try to make a decision and bring an end to the government shutdown. In the meantime, plans are also being made to find out other ways to help fund the government for some time so the situation is better. However, it really all comes down to coming up with a deal that both parties will truly agree on. When discussing the situation with a friend, Safia Khan (12) feels that it is astonishing “that the two parties haven’t agreed on something already.” In conclusion, if the government doesn’t do something anytime soon, it can become a bigger problem than it already is.


Source: thehill.com