This is what you need to know about the government shutdown, which is putting 750,000 jobs at stake. Even if you don't work for the government it could affect you, and Trump is proud of it.
Will we be presidentless? Will we cease to have a government? What in the heck is a government shutdown? The word gets tossed in the air whenever the President and Congress are at opposing ends regarding the spending budget. The US Government, as it is today, was designed to prevent an out-of control-leader from doing as he pleases, by implementing a system of checks and balances. Congress, a body of 535 members; 100 senators (Republican controlled) and 435 House representatives (Democrat controlled) come first in the Constitution.
So, you tell me who would really be to blame for a government shutdown that would affect thousands of workers across the country. Who are the people supporting the President’s Wall tantrum? Are they aware that Canada doesn't require Mexicans to have a visa for entry? A government shutdown is important to know about and understand because it could impact you, and you might not even realize it.
Basically, if a group of people (Congress) and 1 person (the President) cannot play nice and agree on what’s best for the country, game over, shutdown time. The President is willing to shut down the government and risk thousands of jobs in the midst of the holidays to get his Wall. He is “proud to shut down government,” as he said in a meeting with House leader Pelosi and Senator Schumer, with the press capturing every low blow and the disagreements over the effectiveness of the $5 billion dollars he wants for his wall.
His argument: it’s “to keep out drugs and people with many many problems.” He was referring, of course, to immigrants fleeing violence and poverty. Just a reminder, Trump's mother fled a war-torn country and immigrated to the US in 1930. That’s pretty much the same violence that the caravan migrants are fleeing and that now Trump wants to keep out.
The first government shutdown occurred in 1976, when President Ford vetoed a funding bill for the Departments of Labor and Health, Education, and Welfare. The longest government shutdown happened under President Clinton; it couldn’t be decided on whether to use the economic forecasts of the Congressional Budget Office or the Office of Management and Budget to determine if the White House’s budget plan would balance.
Why Trump should not be proud of shutting down the government
An estimated 400,000 federal employees would work without pay, and 350,000 would be furloughed (laid off). At the Department of Housing and Urban Development, 7,800 employees would be sent home. The Environmental Protection Agency’s 14,000 employees would be furloughed, and the Food and Drug administration would cease their routine inspections of pharmaceuticals and food plants. These federal employees include janitors, security guards, and other low-wage federal contractors. In 2016, there were 44.2 million food stamps beneficiaries, while 14% of the population and 30 million children are enrolled in a federal lunch program. They could also be at risk if there were a prolonged shutdown.
In 2013, in a interview with Fox and Friends, Trump was very insistent about blaming the then president for a government shutdown: “It's the top. The problems starts at the top, and they have to get solved at the top. I really think the pressure is on the President.” However, now that he’s the President, he's quick to point fingers at the other side of the aisle.
Regardless of where you stand on immigration, threats of a government shutdown and taking pride in doing so is reprehensible and shameful, as it would affect the most vulnerable, and those who rely on federal assistance for basic necessities. I guess that would be hard to fathom, if you’ve grown up in a privileged environment all your life, which is the case for most Congresspeople and, of course, the President.
Cover Photo: Pakistan Today
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