United States Government Shuts Down
On January, 19th 2018 the United States government failed to agree upon a budget and officially shut down. This means that government employees will be put on a furlough until the situation is resolved. Those serving in the military will not be receiving pay though they will be expected to continue serving. Children in the Child’s Health Insurance Program-whose parents are too poor to afford private care-may be impacted. Museums and public parks could be closed.
The government shutdown was the result of a year long dispute between President Trump and the Democrats in Congress regarding the fate of so-called “Dreamers” who were brought to the United States as children by parents who illegally crossed the American border. President Trump ended the DACA program which had prevented the deportation of these individuals. Eight-hundred thousand people are included in the DACA program. To complicate the matter, three-hundred and fifty nine DACA recipients are in the military. Democrats are in support of the DACA program.
There are conflicting reports about what occurred on Friday night. Senator Chuck Schumer claimed that, during a discussion with the president, he put the border wall on the table in exchange for protections for the DACA recipients. The White House appears to be denying these claims. Trump stated that, “Democrats are putting “politics above our national security, military families, vulnerable children, and our country’s ability to serve all Americans.” Schumer himself blocked a bill that would have temporarily kept the government open.
In essence, Democrats are refusing to move forward on a budget unless protections are put in place for the DACA recipients. As of the writing of this article, attempts continue to resolve the shutdown and get the government funded again. Unfortunately, tempers have flared with each side engaging in attacks. Trump has accused pro-immigration politicians of being complicit in the crimes committed by illegal immigrants. Democrats, in turn, have blamed him for the shutdown. The two sides continue to struggle to find common ground through which a compromise may be reached and the government can continue functioning.
This is not the first government shutdown. The last one occurred in 2013.