News on the Government Shutdown: For Dummies

Hailee Bott

The government shutdown began on Dec. 22nd, 2018. In case you do not stick your nose in politics (trust me, you are not missing much), here is some solid information about the government shutdown you can use to impress your parents at the dinner table.

To start things off, this was the longest government shutdown on record. If I am not mistaken (and I am normally not), it seemed as though President Trump had held the shutdown as long as he did just to flex on us. It felt like any day he would come clean and tell us that all he wanted was to have the longest shutdown on record. Though that was not the case, if that all happened to be an elaborate joke, the news of that would not be taken well. Though it would seem light-hearted, this shutdown had been anything but for most US citizens.

You may have thought Trump had given up on his dreams to build a wall, but alas, he had done anything but that. In fact, he had requested over $5 billion in funding for the US-Mexico border wall. The Democrats were (obviously) not happy about it, and refused to agree. To put that into perspective, Kylie Jenner is not even worth five billion — not even a fifth of that. Donald Trump himself does not even have a net worth that great.

Unless one of your parents works a government job, you may not have felt the effects of the shutdown. Air Travel safety took a hard hit. Hundreds of TSA agents from four major airports called in “sick” to avoid working without pay. TSA agents are some of the most significant employees in air travel safety. More than 800,000 federal employees in more than nine departments have been affected. Some of these employees have even sued the U.S. government for requiring them to work without pay.

That is right: required. That means that there was no other options for these poor employees. It is like doing all your homework but getting zeros in the grade book, which I would not wish upon my worst enemy.

On January 25, which was the last day of the shutdown, 10 air traffic controllers did not come in to work. These missing employees caused a temporary shutdown of one of New York’s major airport. Hours after this incident Trump reopened the government until February 15, under the guise that they come to an agreement (presumably in Trump’s favor).