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2019 Government shutdown: The battle for border security

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The longest government shutdown previously was three weeks long from 1995 to 1996 but it looks like Trump is going for the record. The Trump administration officially held the longest government shutdown time on January 12, with a record setting 22 days.

At the end of every fiscal year, federal funding runs out for most federal agencies and programs. If by the start of the new fiscal year on October 1 a new budget has not been approved, the government will enter a shutdown. Our government has been partially shut down since December 22 (CNN).

If they are close to reaching an agreement, a continuing resolution may be passed that keeps the same amount of money going towards certain programs.

This has not been the case this time as the shutdown continues with almost no end in sight. President Trump has refused to reopen the government until congress gives him 5 billion dollars to build a wall on the southern border.

In a press conference in Friday, January 4, Trump confirmed that he said that the shutdown could go on for months or even as long as a year although he also said that he hopes it does not drag on that long. (politico)

As many people have to work without pay or cannot work at all, this would be a disaster. Many federal employees are already behind on car payments, rent, and other bills.

  1. Williams told CNN, “I’m a federal IT contractor. Everyone seems to forget about people like me and my co-workers — highly skilled middle-class professionals who, unlike the federal employees who direct our work, will not receive any back pay once the shutdown is over.”

Another option that Trump is considering is to declare a national emergency. This would theoretically allow him to bypass congress and just build the wall but many people in Washington are unsure whether he can actually do that.

Democrats on the other hand refuse to discuss a wall at all while the government is partially shut down because as Democratic Whip Dick Durbin says, “There’s no requirement that this government be shut down while we deliberate the future of any barrier, whether it’s a fence or a wall.” On January 8, Trump gave a speech, which was covered by most major networks. In his speech he detailed crimes that had been committed by illegal immigrants and how many drugs come across the southern border.

According to him, the plan to build a wall was developed by border agents and law enforcement professionals. “These are the resources they have requested to properly perform their mission and keep America safe. In fact, safer than ever before.”

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2019 Government shutdown: The battle for border security