How the Government Shutdown Affects Local Families

January 25 marked the end of the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, which started on December 22nd and lasted 35 days. The government shutdown directly affected 800,000 government employees, from multiple different government agencies. This shutdown occurred because of controversy surrounding President Trump’s proposal for a wall being built along the Southern border. Congress and President Trump had to come to an agreement to pass certain federal funding bills. However, a compromise was never reached because Congress wouldn’t grant President Trump the proposed sum of money for the border wall. As a result of this, President Trump did not sign the spending plan and “non-essential” government programs were shutdown.

The government shutdown was a very controversial and countrywide issue that affected many people. Not only did it affect people all across all parts of the country, but also people in our community. John*, a student at West Linn High School had his family affected by the government shutdown.

“My dad works for the government as a Forest Service employee,” John said. “The government shutdown affected me because my dad hadn’t been paid since the government shutdown began. He ended up getting paid, and that was nice, but it would have been way better to just get the money when he should have,” (*John’s name was changed for privacy.)

Another student from West Linn High School was affected by government shutdowns, but in a different way.

“We weren’t affected by the 2019 government shutdown”, Athena Abrahamsen, sophomore, said. “However we were affected by the 2013 government shutdown.”

The 2013 government shutdown lasted 16 days. This was the 3rd longest government shutdown in American history. “There was a couple weeks where my dad just didn’t get a paycheck,” Abrahamsen said. “It was really stressful for the family”

As of now, it is unlikely that we will have another government shutdown to this degree very soon. Although President Trump and the Democrats are not close to any resolution, it is mutually agreed that another government shutdown would not be beneficial for anyone. However, President Trump has said that he hasn’t fully ruled it out yet. It is still a safe bet to assume we won’t have a government shutdown to this degree in awhile.

“I believe that regardless of political affiliation we should all come to a conclusion which is the best for the people in our country,” John said. “I believe that the vast majority of Americans don’t want another shutdown. It really isn’t helping anyone or anything.”