The Government Shutdown: A New Record

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The Government Shutdown: A New Record

Inés Eisenhour '19

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As of 8:45 AM, January 25, the US government has been shut down for 35 days. This is the longest in our nation’s history. Congress’s inability to compromise has drawn the large majority of public attention, but not everyone understands the effects of a shutdown of this nature.

All “non-essential” federal employees are unable to work, leaving less than half of the Civil Division of the Department of Justice in operation. This has paused multiple cases deciding the fate of issues such as sexual harassment on university campuses and voters rights in multiple states.

Several people have needlessly died in transportation accidents that federal safety investigators normally would have probed and prevented.

January 11 marked the first missed federal paycheck, and the second occurred last night. This is affecting 800,000 employees and their families.

All of the aforementioned is due to a gridlock in Congress, where the Senate has been unable to pass a budget plan that satisfies both sides of the aisle and the White House. The President is staunch on his $5.7 billion demand for a border wall, a number which makes it difficult to strategize funding in other areas of the budget.

Two proposals that would reopen the government have already been rejected by the Senate, with Democrats and Republicans each blaming the other side.

Image courtesy of NPCA Flickr.