The recent government shutdown that started on December 22, 2018 occurred over disagreements between President Trump and the Senate. The disagreement was all about the budget. Higher funding was requested for the President’s desire to build a wall at the US-Mexico border. This has caused a number of various government departments to be affected.
Around 800,000 workers have been affected by this impasse, with a vast majority of them being sent home without pay. Although measures have since been passed to ensure that these workers would be remunerated for their unpaid time, there have been growing concerns that some of them may not even be receiving any back pay due to the ongoing tug-of-war between Trump and members of the Senate, specifically the Democrats.
In the time that this whole debacle has been happening, public opinion on Trump has been slowly souring. Trump’s approval rating declined steeply while his disapproval rating increased over the course of the shutdown. Various polls conducted by different agencies and survey bodies also reflected the same sentiments. A PBS NewsHour–Marist poll run on January 15, 2019 showed that the majority of Americans blamed the President for the current government situation.
When government shutdowns occur, it’s usually difficult to pinpoint who is to blame for shutting down the government. In this more recent case however, a lot of substantial evidence does point to Donald Trump as the culprit behind the latest shutdowns. Trump has said that he would be more than happy to shut down the government in order to get the funding that he needed to build his border wall.
While all this was happening, a lot of people in different sectors have since been affected. As mentioned previously, around 420,000 government workers have been working without pay. In private sectors, employees can seek the assistance from law firms like Cary Kane Legal to be remunerated by their employers. But government workers may find that their situation is a little different. For one, the President of the United States is immune from any civil lawsuits during his term.
The state of the country’s national parks are also being affected. The parks service is estimated to have lost around $6 million in revenue. California’s Joshua Tree National Park has already seen many of its trees defaced by parkgoers due to the lack of paid staff. Health and safety has also been the reason for the closure of its campgrounds; pit toilets in the campgrounds are now close to capacity.
While the government shutdown affects a small portion of the lives of the average citizen, it has huge effects on government workers. Bear in mind that the reason why the latest shutdown happened was because Democrats and Republicans couldn’t agree on budgeting, given that the President of the United States wanted more funding to build his border wall. How Trump and the Senate move forward following this latest government shutdown will dictate the future of the country.