The Spur

Shutdown ends

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Jan. 25 marked the end of the longest government shutdown in American history. Starting Dec. 22, 2018, the government was partially shutdown for 35 days over the issue of border security. An appropriations bill still has not been agreed to for the 2019 fiscal year, and if a bill is not agreed to by the Feb. 15 deadline, the government will be forced into another shutdown.

President Donald Trump requested $5.7 billion for the wall he promised while cam- paigning for the Presidency to be constructed on the southern border with Mexico. The Democrats in Congress
would not agree to such an amount for the purpose of a wall, and instead requested that the money be allocated for border technology and an increase in border security personnel.

“I understand the fear of a growing population, a country’s resources cannot sustain everyone,” said Braden Sommervold, a senior in the communication’s program. “However, the wall is not the way to go. The wall is an over-compensational tactic. It didn’t work for Berlin or China, and it won’t work here.”

“It is hard to vote in favor of a brick and mortar wall in lieu of sophisticated tech- nology, both prospects are exceedingly expensive,” said Sean Knight, a sophomore in the computer science program. “Perhaps a combination of both would supply the U.S. citizens with what they desire.”

The new Congress was sworn in on Jan. 3, with a Democratic-majority House of Representatives and a Republican-majority Senate, furthering complications with getting an appropriations bill passed and signed by the president. Four individual bills were voted on and passed in the House, but were refused to be voted on in the Senate due to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowing to not consider House bills not supported by Trump.

A meeting on Jan. 9 between leaders of Congress and the president took place briefly. It was described by Trump as “a waste of time” because Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi would not agree to the border wall. Following the meeting, Trump proposed his border wall in exchange for temporary protections for children affected by Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). There have also been threats made by Trump to declare a national emergency to take funds already allocated for different purposes and repurpose them for border security. About 800,000 federal employees were affected by the shutdown, either not being able to work or work-
ing without pay.

Reports came out in the middle of the shutdown that essential agents, like TSA workers at airports, were calling in “sick,” presumably not wanting to work unless they are
getting paid for it.

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Shutdown ends