The partial government shutdown has now officially become the longest in the history of the United States. With 22 days gone already, the shutdown has wreaked havoc in the lives of many Americans. Hundreds of thousands federal employees have absolutely zero idea as to when they’ll see their next paycheck.
Employees, who have already missed at least one of their paychecks, have started to look for options, including job change, loans from relatives or even missing on the basic amenities like medicines. On the other hand, other Americans are facing a difficult time with delayed farm loans and shuttered museums.
“We’ve dipped into our savings account already. If it keeps going, my husband said he’ll call his parents and see if they’ll lend us some money,” said DeCarann Speaks, a mother of two and the wife of a Border Patrol agent in Vermont who is working without a paycheck. “Some days I just want to sit and cry. But I have to stay positive for my children.”
While the low-income Americans who rely on federal safety net are worrying about their missed and next paychecks, a few Americans are considering this to be a trivial issue that shouldn’t be hyped much. So if you are a sportsman or a taxpayer waiting for your refund or a gas company, the government shutdown is not going to affect you.
President Trump is insisting Congress to pass a fund of $5.7 billion to build a wall on the Mexico border, something that the Democrats describe as a costly and an unnecessary demand. The talks are at a standstill in Washington. On Thursday, Trump visited the border to make his case for the wall. Trump said he is considering declaring a national emergency in order to get the funding from the Democrats.
Russell T. Vought, deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, said the overarching message from Trump has been “to make this shutdown as painless as possible, consistent with the law.”
“We have built on past efforts within this administration not to have the shutdown be used to be weaponized against the American people,” he said.
The on-going government shutdown – that started last month on 22nd – is the third to take place in 2018. The first one lasted for three days and the second for just a few hours. Until now, the longest shutdown was of 21 days that started in December 1995, amid a deadlock between then-President Bill Clinton and congressional Republicans.
“The strategy seems to be to keep the shutdown in place, not worry about the effect on employees and furloughed people and contractors, but where the public might be annoyed, give a little,” said Alice Rivlin, who led the Office of Management and Budget during the 1995 shutdown.
“We weren’t trying to make it better. We were trying to emphasize the pain so it would be over,” she said. “We wanted it to end. I’m not convinced the Trump administration does.”
The current government shutdown didn’t impact many at first due to the holidays, but now, with no definitive end, it is taking a toll on most of the Americans.