Building the infamous wall has been at the forefront of President Trump’s platform ever since his initial presidential campaign back in 2017, but has since then been unsuccessful in allocating the funds needed to support the construction of his dream 2,000-mile concrete wall along the Southern border.
Failure of allocating the funds has come as a result from disagreements between the House of Representatives and the Senate on landing on a budget plan that will meet President Trump’s original demand of 5.7 billion dollars needed for the wall.
On December 19, 2018, a revised budget plan was proposed which included 1.5 billion for border security but no funds specifically for the construction of the wall. President Trump retaliated by stating that he will not sign a budget plan unless it met his demands.
The longest ever government shutdown officially began on December 21, 2018, closing a quarter of federal agencies such as: Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, State, Transportation, the Treasury, and many more.
This partial shutdown has directly affected people employed by the federal government. An estimated 800,000 federal workers were furloughed or even forced to work with no pay. This event has triggered a domino effect and is affecting the lives of normal Americans everyday.
When asked about her opinion about the government shutdown, Lana Valenzuela, an English major at Fullerton College, stated, “It is a huge waste of time. People are suffering the consequences of being put out of work, which affects the work that they do; whether it be jeopardizing flight safety/times through TSA, or vandalism and excessive littering in national parks causing damage to the ecosystems that they’re a part of. The shutdown is causing more damage than good.”
Carlos Lopez, an Engineering major at Fullerton College says about the shutdown, “It is the most idiotic thing. I feel that the President has nothing to hinge on besides this supposed wall that he had promised to his supporters since the start of his campaign, and that is why he is so determined to try to get it done before his term ends.”
On January 25th, 2019, President Trump signed a bill that ended the partial shutdown for three weeks. All federal operations will resume during these three weeks and it will give time for Congress to propose a final budget plan that will potential meet the president’s high demands. This decision will take place on February 15th.
If the new budget plan does not meet the demands, President Trump has threatened to either resume the government shutdown or declare a national emergency, which will allow him to use executive power to bypass Congress. President Trump is even exploring the idea of usurping funds that were earmarked for disaster relief in Puerto Rico, Florida, Texas and California.
“We really have no choice but to build a powerful wall or steel barrier,” President Trump said, “If we don’t get a fair deal from Congress, the government will either shut down on Feb. 15, or I will use the powers afforded to me under the laws and Constitution of the United States to address this emergency.”