Government Shutdown Leaves Workers Desperate Without Pay

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Government Shutdown Leaves Workers Desperate Without Pay

Jayla Johnson and Bailee Zelis

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President Trump’s government shutdown, lasting from Dec. 22 to Jan. 25, has been the longest in America’s history, leaving 800,000 federal workers without pay.
According to Trump, his border wall, which has been the center of his campaign and his presidency, is urgent enough to leave almost a million American citizens without a paycheck.
Trump temporarily reopened the government, and Congressional leaders this week reached a tentative agreement to avoid another shutdown.
But Trump, under fire from conservative critics, said he wasn’t happy with the deal because it didn’t include the funding he wanted for the border wall. Neither Congressional Democrats nor Trump seem to be budging in their stances on this issue..
Cherylayne Walker, a General Business and Industry Employee, under the agency Assistant Secretary for Housing- Federal Housing Commissioner, is one among the many government workers who went without pay for 35 days.
“I was upset because I had to go into my savings account and use some of that money to pay for the bills,” stated Walker.
Walker shared that this in fact was her third government shutdown, but this would have to be the worst one due to it being around the holidays.
Even for people who are not directly involved in government, this past month has been hard to ignore with the shutdown being all over the news and social media. Several Bucks students weighed in with their opinion of this past month’s events.
Kristian Khrystenko, a 19-year-old Business major from Warminster, made an interesting comment regarding why no agreements have been made yet between Congress and the President. He said, “I think it could work if Congress and the President were the ones not getting paid.”
Craig Mechanic, a 20-year-old Business/Hospitality major from Yardley, discusses someone close to him who has been a mail woman for roughly twenty years and is not getting paid.
Mechanic, when asked about the border wall says, “Nobody supports it. When people realize they have to pay for it they’ll remember how stupid they were for voting for him in the first place.”
With the government shutdown Trump has lost a lot of support from even his own party, his approval rate falling to 39.3 percent in the polls. The border wall, which Trump had previously promised Mexico would pay for, now seems to be the responsibility of the American taxpayers. To many Americans, the wall is unrealistic.
Jeremy Pruss, 19-year-old Business/Communications major, has no strong opinions on the wall, but when asked if it was a realistic goal he said, “Do you know how many Home Depot trips that would take?” He also commented that the nation could be using its resources in a more efficient way.
The shutdown has definitely caused a lot of inconveniences for Americans, especially when it comes to traveling outside the country. Many TSA workers have been absent during the shutdown, airport security lines have been longer, and flights have been delayed.
Bucks student Samantha Keane, an 18-year-old Communications major from Chalfont, talked about her boyfriend’s family’s inability to leave the country because they were unable to get a passport during the shutdown. For many American families this could mean cancelled vacations with no refund.
Government employee Cherylane Walker added that she started wondering if their bills would get paid on time, and if they could afford gas and groceries.
Like most Americans, Keane believes that border control is important, but she says, “There is no need to build a whole wall.”
Overall, the government shutdown has not been appreciated by most Americans, and many are hoping for some sort of reform so that it doesn’t happen again. Hopefully the administration will see what the employees do for the public is very beneficial. With Trump and Congress’ refusal to compromise, it looks like the American people will be on their toes for a while.

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