Hot Topic: Government Shutdown

Contributed by Paige Barnett.

According to Trump, the United States needs a border wall between us and Mexico for reasons unfounded – yet supported by Trump’s base. Using fear-mongering tactics¹ and untruths, Trump said that he’d build a wall to protect us from the thousands of criminal immigrants illegally crossing the border; that protection is needed against the hordes of gangs who are invading our streets, running drugs and trafficking humans. He said he’d make Mexico pay for it.

Flash forward, Trump is demanding $5.7 billion dollars from U.S. taxpayers to build this unnecessary wall.  He’s dismissed any attempt by Democrats who offered $2.5 billion for border security to be applied to more effective means, i.e. drones, tunnel detection, immigration judges, etc.²  In response, (sort of) Trump suggested a steel wall instead of a concrete wall and has doubled down on his demand for $5.7 billion dollars.

As a result of failed negotiations, Trump issued an Executive order which shuttered executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government. As of December 24th, said agencies are closed and/or are working without pay.  We are now in the midst of the 2nd longest – and soon to be longest – government shutdown with not an end in sight.  Trump is willing to extend the shutdown “ for months or even years.”3  

From one impulsive moment on his campaign trail, Trump’s promise to build this border wall has evolved into a crisis of his own design.  Each side blames the other for the stalemate. But the Democratic-controlled House voted January 3rd to pass a bill that would re-open the government without provisions to fund the wall.  Senate Majority leader McConnell will only bring a spending bill to the floor of the Senate that Trump supports.⁴ In a rebuttal statement to Trump’s eight-minute speech on Tuesday evening,  Pelosi and Schumer said there is no reason for keeping the government partially shuttered because wall negotiations can and should remain separate from wall funding negotiations.4

Here is a list as published by the New York Times of how the government shutdown is affecting people and places.

Call to Action!

  • Call, text “resist” to 50409 or tweet your Congresspersons and Senators and let them know you adamantly oppose funding a wall.  Also, thank your Congresspersons and Senators if they’ve opposed funding this blatantly unnecessary wall.
  • Support local and regional food pantries and organizations assisting those who are out of work or working without pay due to the shutdown. Many are leaning heavily on these organizations to make ends meet while waiting for the next paycheck.

Sources

¹https://thinkprogress.org/trumps-border-fear-mongering-is-far-from-reality-26ed4da50603/

²https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/01/06/government-shutdown-2019-negotiations-continue-white-house-congress/2491460002/

³https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/07/government-shutdown-becomes-the-third-longest-ever.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/house-democrats-prepare-vote-to-reopen-government-as-cracks-appear-in-gop-opposition/2019/01/03/24151490-0f96-11e9-8938-5898adc28fa2_story.html?utm_term=.4886a4b140bd

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