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Government officials need to settle their differences and restore the needs of U.S. citizens to their first priority

Across the country, many museums and national parks have been closed due the shutdown of the national government. Photo from Flickr, used with permission

Across the country, many museums and national parks have been closed due the shutdown of the national government. Photo from Flickr, used with permission

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One of the most unifying aspects of a country is how strong and cohesive its government is. If a country has a government that knows how to work together and sort through the issues that plague it, then the country should be able to prosper, more than a country without a fully functioning government. The latter is especially apparent in the United States government, as both the Executive and Legislative branches are unable to come to clear and concise decisions. As of Dec. 22, the government has been in a shutdown, as President Donald Trump is holding out waiting for Congress to allot him $5 billion dollars to build a border wall from the city of Matamoros in Mexico to Border Field State Park under San Diego.

The idea of the shutdown was first made public after President Trump held a meeting with two Democrats, Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, and Chuck Schumer, the minority leader in the Senate. In this meeting, the media was allowed to watch and see first-hand discussions between the two guests, the President and Vice President Mike Pence. In this meeting, the goal was to convince the two Democrats to pass the remaining five bills that would be needed to correctly fund the government, including one that would allot $5 billion dollars for the border wall. However, it was made painfully clear that neither side was willing to give in to their opposition. While Pelosi had tried explaining the Democrats view on why the $5 billion dollars would not be correct for the government, her evidence and arguments were essentially ignored. Instead of listening to Pelosi’s comments, Trump and Schumer were too busy fighting in a battle of pride and nonsense, as they were exchanging immature comments about how their opposition was wrong, not why their own side was correct. In fact, Trump went so far to say in the meeting that he would willingly take blame for the government shutdown if it meant him finally getting his border wall. However, after a few days, this claim vanished from existence as blame was starting to shift from the President himself to the democratic party.
However, according to a monthly poll done by Politico, a media company that covers United States and international politics, 47 percent of voters (POL18) blame the President, while only 33 percent blame congressional Democrats.

the most shocking part of the government shutdown and how stubborn our political leaders are is that they are prioritizing their own success as an administration over the health and good of the whole country.”

This government shutdown marks only one of a long list of serious disagreements that have occurred in the Trump Administration. However, this shutdown has become the issue that will affect the largest number of America’s population thus far. For example, 800,000 federal employees will not be at work and will not be getting their first paycheck of the new year. However, the shutdown affects more than just these federal employees. In the United States, 38 million are on food stamps, meaning they are given food and drink from big companies such as SNAP, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. If the shutdown continues past mid-February, then all of the money currently allocated will be used up and these 38 million people will be without a constant and safe way to acquire food. As of right now, the shutdown has lasted 18 days, just two days short of the longest ever shutdown in 1995-1996, when the government was closed for 21 days. Despite how disastrous this situation is, the President continues to dig in his heels, as he is not afraid to prolong the shutdown for months.

However, the most shocking part of the government shutdown and how stubborn our political leaders are is that they are prioritizing their own success as an administration over the health and good of the whole country. Recently, Trump has threatened to declare a “State of Emergency,” which would allow the President to attain dictator esque powers. For example, Trump would be allowed to build the wall, despite not having any approval from the rest of the government. The irony in this situation is that by proclaiming a State of Emergency, the President is just worsening the financial and medical issues of citizens.

In an address to the nation, the President made his appeal to the people Jan. 8. He believed that by paying for the wall, we would be able to protect women from rape, children from kidnappings and the jobs of americans. However, in a response to the President’s address, Pelosi and Schumer focused in on the ridiculous tone the President used, as it was apparent to them that he was prying on fear to get his way, when the President should be the one uniting the country. They also stated how a bipartisan bill had already been worked out, but the President refused to sign it, in favor of his 30 foot border wall. Both legislative Democrats and Republicans would like to have the government reopened, but the stubborness of the President has only been proven to be detrimental to american citizens.

Whether one side is correct or not is not what’s important. What’s important is that the government needs to figure out a way to settle their differences and restore the lives of millions of people. They need to be reminded that the government is not supposed to serve itself, it is supposed to serve the people.

BY: BRENDEN JACOBY

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The student news site of Whitney High School in Rocklin, Calif.
Government officials need to settle their differences and restore the needs of U.S. citizens to their first priority