The Comets' Tale

The Longest Government Shutdown in Recorded US History

Political divides in the capital cause shutdown to last for more than a month

The+government+shut+down+lasted+34+days+before+reopening.
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The Longest Government Shutdown in Recorded US History

The government shut down lasted 34 days before reopening.

The government shut down lasted 34 days before reopening.

Illustration by Glenn Horne

The government shut down lasted 34 days before reopening.

Illustration by Glenn Horne

Illustration by Glenn Horne

The government shut down lasted 34 days before reopening.

Kelly Morgan, Entertainment Editor

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   When the government shutdown entered  its fifth week, it officially ended up as the longest government shutdown in US history. Many wondered  what could have caused such a monumental catastrophe.

   A steady decline in bipartisan politics, hastened by the recent death of the famous negotiating senator John McCain, lead to a very prominent political divide in the capital.

   The President’s strong words and questionable actions have also been a catalyst for political divide. This was especially prevalent in the shutdown. President Trump refused to back down or negotiate until he got the funding for his $5 billion border wall, and the GOP is stood behind him. Meanwhile, the Democrats refused to yield to the President’s demands, and instead pushed for a deal in which the government would be reopened while the issue of border security was debated in Congress. The President did not  seem inclined to accept this deal, and threatened to continue the shutdown, declare a state of emergency, or even cut funding to wildfire relief in California, stating that poor “Forest Management” was at fault for the natural disaster, according to one of his tweets. In a televised speech, Trump offered to provide deportation relief to DACA recipients in return for funding for a border barrier instead of a concrete wall. Democrats  criticized this deal, citing its temporary nature as a deal breaker.

   It is also possible that the confusion caused by several claims made by President Trump may have furthered a divide not only among Congress but among the American people. Trump has spread several false or misleading statements about illegal immigration in an effort to gain supporters and push funding for his wall. For instance, he has claimed that a border wall would stop illegal drugs coming into the US, but it is stated in an article titled “Fact Check: Trump’s Previous Misstatements on Immigration, the Border and the Wall,” by NBC News that the Drug Enforcement Administration reported that most of these drugs enter the country through legal ports of entry. Another claim by the President indicated that government workers are in favor of a border wall. However, this statement is blatantly false. According to a poll conducted by GovExec, 70 percent of federal workers are opposed to a wall.

   For students, this divide is more than just a distant problem. Many students felt the impacts firsthand. Some students at GLHS have parents that work for the federal government. For many, this is a very important source of income, upon which people rely for their most basic needs. If the government shuts down, these people lose that vital source of funding. For seniors preparing for college, a lack of income could prove to be disastrous as they save money for tuition and file for financial aid.

   If the distressing trend of radical partisan politics continues, future shutdowns are virtually inevitable. Congress must work to heal the rift between parties if the government is to move forward and continue to provide for the American people. With only three weeks until the government is forced to shut down again, time will tell if this mission is to be accomplished.

 

About the Writer
Kelly Morgan, Entertainment Editor

Contact me at [email protected]

Kelly Morgan is a junior at Grand Ledge High School, and this is her first year in Newspaper. She is also involved...

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