U.S Faces a Historically Long Government Shutdown


Antoinette Aho, Editor-in-Chief

It’s the 25th day of the United State’s government shutdown, which began on December 22nd. The shutdown was spurred by disagreement between Republicans and Democrats on Trump’s request for $5bn to fund a wall on the U.S Mexico border.

Although the shutdown has begun to effect more than politics, Trump has stated that he will not be declaring a national emergency. Government workers continue to go without pay, with the president and lawmakers of both parties remaining in quarrel.


More than 800,000 federal workers have been hit by the shutdown, which include the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, State, Transportation and Treasury.

Many are placed on leave, but others are forced to work without pay, for their jobs are seen as essential to the country.


Immigration courts have been backed up, with over 43,000 cases being delayed. NPR’s John Burnett reports, immigrants who have had their hearings postponed or canceled may have to wait until 2022 for a rescheduled hearing.


Native American communities have also seen effects, they depend on federal funds to supply emergency medical care, and without vehicles ready to plough roads to get to their camps the aid becomes unavailable. One tribe leader spoke to NPR stating they lost a member due to it.


Food, oil and power plant inspections have been halted, causing the EPA to miss inspections at facilities that may result in death. With employees at home, these issues can’t be solved. For instance, a November EPA inspection at an oil production site in Oklahoma, had a rusty pipe leaking brine into a stream that flows into a drinking water reservoir for four cities. The EPA inspector measured high levels of chemicals downstream of the site, along with 500 dead fish along the stream’s banks. The problem demands more investigation but without workers, not much will be done.


Fortunately, On December 28, the USDA noted that some programmes may continue to operate on money that is currently available but will receive no new federal funding during the shutdown.

This only solves some of the consequential issues, for workers continue without pay, and unsafety of facilities continues to rise.

As Trump is persistent with his request of funding for the wall, the shutdown has been hypothesized to last into February.