The costs of not funding the federal government

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The costs of not funding the federal government

Yellowstone National Park from the 2013 government shutdown.

Yellowstone National Park from the 2013 government shutdown.

John Garder

Yellowstone National Park from the 2013 government shutdown.

John Garder

John Garder

Yellowstone National Park from the 2013 government shutdown.

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BRUNSWICK, OH – The United States government lacks funding for the 21st time since 1976, with this time being the longest shutdown in United States history. A government shutdown occurs when Congress does not pass continuing resolutions to fund federal government agencies, or when the president refuses to sign what has been passed due to discontent with its contents.

President Donald Trump is now the sitting president for the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. Trump says he will not sign an appropriation bill unless it contains the almost six billion dollars he is requesting for a border wall between the United States and Mexico. Democrat members of congress are unwilling to give in to these demands.

“The president does not seem to want to budge, and the Democrats with their political momentum after the election don’t seem to want to budge either,” says Advanced Placement Government teacher, Luke Beal.

The costs for the government remaining shut down is the paychecks of almost 800,000 federal workers in the United States, along with their families. Federal employees are not paid when the government is shut down, since there is no funding, and they are placed on furlough. A select few federal workers are continuing to be paid as some agencies have already passed funding for this year, such as Social Security.

“Our students are living the shutdown too. My AP class was supposed to go to the James A. Garfield National Historic Site, but, they are closed…not only are federal workers going without pay, but the students are going without experiences.”

Not only are federal employees suffering, but so are our National Parks and other government-funded services. National parks are closed, or some are partially closed, until the government can pass a funding bill. There is no security to protect endangered areas in these parks, and trash continues to pile up. Furthermore, bathrooms are not being cleaned because there are no workers to clean them.

“I am concerned about the health of our national parks. The ones out west are being ravaged by people who don’t seem to understand their true value for humans and for the environment. They’re cutting down rare trees and polluting the area,” says Advanced Placement Environmental Science teacher, Laurie Hinkle.

Trump is focusing on the benefits a border wall will result in for the security of the nation. However, small details are left behind, including how a wall between the United States poses a threat to species in the area, as they will not be able to cross over and trees may not be able to spread their seeds.

“It can separate individuals in the same species,” Hinkle adds.

U.S. Customs and Borders Protection states that 17,000 individuals with criminal records were stopped at the border last year. However, that is a total out of 566,000 individuals who were stopped at different ports of entries into the United States. With that statistic, three percent of all individuals stopped for illegal entry into the United States are stopped at the United States and Mexico border.

A survey was asked to Sarah Salvatore’s Family Consumer Science class, and 25 out of 25 students were aware of the government shutdown, while only five students support the reason behind it.

“I don’t think it’s fair to the them [federal employees] because they are going into work and not getting paid,” says sophomore, Brody Perez.

The government shutdown could last weeks, or even months. The Republicans in congress are backing Trump and his demands for the almost six billion dollars he is requesting for the border wall. Democrats do not seem to want to give in to those demands, so no end to the shutdown is near. Federal workers, their families, and even individuals just wanting to visit our national parks are the real costs of the government shutdown.

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