What’s happening with this government shutdown

Shown above are some of the different federal agencies that have been affected the most during the government shutdown.

JoAnn Sharpless

Shown above are some of the different federal agencies that have been affected the most during the government shutdown.

JoAnn Sharpless, Managing Editor (Online)

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On Dec. 21, 2018, lawmakers had a deadline to sign and pass the new spending bill for the 2019 year. Having missed the deadline due to both political sides not wanting to compromise, the government was shut down until further notice. The shutdown didn’t just affect the lawmakers by giving them a longer Christmas vacation it cut off funding for all federal-run agencies making several temporary shutdowns.

Many families wait until over holiday break to visit landmarks and go on vacation. This shutdown caused a damper in many plans. Roughly a third of the U.S. national parks, museums and cultural sites are closed. National parks that hadn’t closed are severely understaffed and many visitor centers and park resources are not open to the public. Leading to an increase in dangers for tourists and a backup on litter and garbage in National Parks. The country could also be losing money that is made from people visiting nationwide, due to the shutdown closing many sites.

Employee’s of the federal government have also been laid off their jobs and have not been paid for a long period of time. Many employees will go to work, but they will not get paid until the shutdown ends. During the government shutdown of 2013, roughly 850,000 people in the whole federal government were laid off. Some of the federal agencies that are affected by the government shutdown would include the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense.

A large concern lies in the lack of funding to pay employees that help maintain control and protection of the public. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the people who make sure that no weapons or explosives go on board airplanes, have not received a paycheck since the shutdown has taken place. This has led to several employees having to quit and many not coming to work. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also taken a huge step back from the number of food inspections they do daily. Now the FDA is only inspecting foods that are deemed to be high-risk. This all leads to the concern that something could go uncaught, affecting thousands of people, and be noticed too late.

The armed forces have also been greatly affected by the shutdown many not being paid for the work they are doing. This has led to many military families struggling to make ends meet. This also affects the overall security of the country.

Not every federal program is going to be closed during the shutdown. Some are still mandatory to be open. For example, any medical funding that could be the decision life or death still is to be paid for, but those who are applying or hoping to receive passports or Social Security cards have to wait and deal with a possible delay.

Government shutdowns have been happening since winter 1995. There has been a total of four in all this recent one has been labeled the longest government shutdown stretching to 27 days.

No matter what side is looked at politically both seem to be playing the blame game, with taking the responsibility but both not backing down until their opinion is heard. No one knows what’s in store for the United States at the moment, and when the government will possibly reopen.