Status of the US Government


From December 22nd 2018 to January 25th, 2019 marks the longest government shutdown in the United States history, lasting thirty-five days. The shutdown was called because President Donald Trump wanted funds to be  made available to pay for the southern border wall. Although the government shutdown has now ended, the President suggested that the shutdown would resume February 15th if a deal can’t be made regarding the wall. A deal was made, but the President was not satisfied and consequently declared a national emergency on the 15th. The government has enough funds to run until September, which is when Congress would vote on whether or not they have the funds to keep the government running,

What Happened During the Shutdown?

During the shutdown, many of the employees across multiple agencies didn’t go to work or were not paid, resulting in numerous jobs to not be performed. According to CBS news, “The FDA initially did not do routine inspections of domestic food-processing facilities. It recalled workers to restart inspections of what are considered “high-risk” foods in mid-January after the routine inspections were briefly halted due to the shutdown.” Not only was the FDA cutting corners by prioritizing high-risks foods, but other industries such as the National Parks suffered as well. Joshua Tree Park in Southern California informed their park rangers not to come to work due to the shutdown and consequently, because park gates remained open during the shutdown, vandals cut down several Joshua trees and damaged rocks. David Smith, the current Joshua Tree national park superintendent, told National Parks Traveler after announcing the need to close, saying, “We have two new roads that were created inside the park. We had the destruction of government property with the cutting of chains and locks for people to access campgrounds. We’ve never seen this level of out-of-bounds camping. Everyday use area was occupied every evening.” The damage, according to Curt Sauer, who retired from running the park in 2010, is a massive setback to the park.

During the shutdown, many employees, such as TSA workers, who were living paycheck to paycheck fell behind on their bills. Many soups kitchens and restaurants throughout the states opened their doors, helping many government employees who could not afford to eat. Yin Dee is a Lao restaurant that is run by Patti Graham which is a mere five minutes away from Raleigh Durham International. Due to the location of the restaurant, she decided to help the TSA employees who were not receiving any pay. WRAL reported, “Graham is now offering a free meal, of up to $8, to any furloughed worker who shows their badge.”

Now that the shutdown is ended and President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency, several states including California, New York, and 14 others, have taken action and are suing The President over the emergency, arguing that it is unconstitutional.  California Attorney General Xavier Becerra stated, “Today, on Presidents Day, we take President Trump to court to block his misuse of presidential power.” These lawsuits mean that the national emergency will be caught up in courts for weeks or months to come.