Partial Government Shutdown Finally Ends… But Is Another One Coming Soon?

A few weeks ago, I let you know all about the partial government shutdown. Including why it happened and how it was affecting government employees.

I mentioned how it might affect Social Security checks and food stamps. As well as how the Republicans and Democrats were rejecting each other’s proposals for ending it.

I also mentioned how the battle over a potential wall on the Mexican border was the chief sticking point.

And at the end, I asked how you felt about the situation. And whether you thought Congress should fund this proposed wall or whether you believe a wall is necessary to help control illegal immigration.

Nearly 700 Responses!

I was hoping some of you would respond so I could get a grip on your feelings about this important matter.

And wow, did you ever respond! At last count, there were 689 comments from our readers.

Many of you said you favor the construction of a wall. Others felt better security measures were needed, but not in the form of a wall.

One of the things I loved most about the responses was how comprehensive they were. Some of you obviously put a lot of thought into them.

No Wall Funds in Temporary Deal

Now the partial government shutdown is over. At least for the next couple of weeks. The 35-day impasse was the longest-ever closure of federal agencies.

Legislators from both parties hammered out a temporary agreement on January 25. It allowed the government to fully open again.

But the deal will expire on February 16 if a more concrete deal is not put into place. The deal does not include any of the suggested $5.7 billion for a border wall.

In the meantime, President Donald Trump tasked a bipartisan committee of lawmakers to consider what to do with border security.

Americans Were Getting Antsy

Much pressure had been mounting on Trump and Congress to end the shutdown. Some 800,000 federal employees were either not working or working without compensation.

Many airports were also affected by the shutdown. Among those experiencing long delays was LaGuardia Airport in New York. That was from the shortage of TSA agents.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the world’s busiest airport. There were long security wait lines there. Atlanta was expecting 150,000 out-of-town visitors for the Super Bowl.

Many Americans were concerned there would be a delay in the mailing of tax refunds as well.

Trump Vows to Stand His Ground

Will Congress find a way to reach an agreement before February 16? One that will permanently re-open the government?

All along, Trump has insisted on funding for a wall to be a part of the deal. He said he will hold out “as long as it takes.” But he does not want his legacy tarnished with multiple government shutdowns.

Public opinion polls indicate more Americans blamed Republicans than Democrats for the shutdown. Dems believe if they continue to refuse to support wall funding, Trump will give in.

Trump recently said he has a different option in mind. He could “use the powers afforded to me… to declare a national emergency to find money for the wall.”

Shutdown Affected Plenty

Among government departments afflicted by the partial shutdown was Homeland Security. Plus the Justice Department and the Treasury.

Also shut down were NASA and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Many national parks and museums were closed. Others were partially open. Most IRS employees were not working.

Food assistance groups continued during the shutdown. But there were concerns about food stamps running out in February. That’s why many people were given their February allotments early.

Shutdown Damage Will Last

The two sides might come to a long-term agreement before February 16. Even if they do, some damage from the shutdown will be permanent.

Many young people plan to apply for federal government jobs. But they might start considering other options. Especially if what they make is dependent on Congress agreeing on important issues.

Firefighting and law enforcement qualification training has been delayed. And could be delayed again. Some of those perspective workers might be looking for other work.

Future wildfires could be worse than previous ones. That’s because fire crews missed their window for controlled burns on federal lands.

Even Hurricane prediction models may also be negatively impacted. Researchers were not able to do their mission-critical work during the shutdown.

Tell Us What You Think?

Thanks again for all your responses to the last government shutdown email. And we’ve love to hear from you again.

Do you believe Congress will work out a deal to avoid another government shutdown?

If not, do you think President Trump will declare a national emergency to fund the wall?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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