An Update on the Government Shutdown
January 21, 2019
The shutdown enters its 30th day, and there is no clear end in sight. On Jan. 19, President Trump announced a deal that would end the longest shutdown in history, a deal that Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected immediately, according to the New York Times.
The deal would extend protection for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA for three years. In return, the budget would include funding for a $5.7 billion southern border wall. Trump, who initially planned to end DACA protections for a little under a million people in the U.S., calls this deal a compromise between Democrats and Republicans who cannot seem to agree on funding a southern border wall for over $5.1 billion. Democrats do not agree.
With polls showing people growing increasingly weary of the shutdown and the border wall, according to CNN, Trump’s deal could be a last ditch effort to save face. Along with the shutdown, federal government workers continue to work without pay. Many high-profile celebrities have come out to condemn Trump for the shutdown in support of these workers, who often live paycheck to paycheck.
According to Politico, White House economic advisor Kevin Hassett called the shutdown a “vacation” for furloughed workers. He drew immense criticism for this comment, as many government workers still must work without any pay, because they are classified as “essential personnel.”
The southern border wall, a large part of Trump’s campaign promises back in the 2016 election, remain heavily opposed by House democrats recently inaugurated after the Nov. 6 midterm elections. Whether the wall gets approved or not will likely heavily influence the 2020 elections, in which Trump faces reelection against a democratic pool of candidates.
The shutdown reflects growing divisions in the U.S. on the subject of immigration policy, but Trump called his deal a way for truly bipartisan policy. Without a deal accepted soon, the likelihood that a federal emergency is announced from the White House grows stronger.