Feature Photo By: Brooklyn Dolan – There is an American flag in almost every classroom of Rangeview High School, allowing students the opportunity to stand up and say the pledge of allegiance during their third-period class daily if they would like to.
By: Brooklyn Dolan and Ruth Mesfin, Review Staff
The government shutdown began on December 22, 2018 and recently ended on January 25th, 2019 continuing into the new year — the longest government shutdown in history. According to PBS, the shutdown caused “380,000 federal employees to be furloughed (temporary leave without pay) during the shutdown. Another 420,000 are working without pay.”
Typically, a government shutdown occurs when Congress fails to pass sufficient funding or appropriations, or when the president refuses to sign law bills, or make resolutions that are necessary. The government has been shut down for the third time since Trump has taken office. This time, it was because of the disagreement between Congress and Trump over building a wall across the United States-Mexico border.
How did all this start?
When Trump was running for presidency, he made it clear that he wanted to increase the United States’ border security by building a wall 21 feet tall. Trump declared, “I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will have Mexico pay for that wall.” While several agree that he does have skeptics, he also has many supporters, such as Ezekiel Trujillo, a Rangeview sophomore.
According to Trujillo, who is of Hispanic descent, “A lot of the stuff going on in Mexico, it’s bad. To have the wall would be kind of like to have a filter.”
He strongly believes that the wall is necessary and supports the president’s decision of shutting down the government when he did.
Trujillo also said, “Walls work. It worked for Israel. It’s worked in the past for every nation. It worked for China for quite some time, so I do think that more border security would help, and I do believe that this was a necessary shutdown.”
According to The New York Times, the 21-foot tall wall will cost $70 billion to build and $150 million — annually — to maintain. The Department of Homeland Security commented the wall could cost up to $21.6 billion, not including maintenance. Trump wants the government to fund $6 billion dollars, leaving the government indecisive.
Ms. Kay, a Spanish teacher at Rangeview, says, “In my perception, it is like a temper-tantrum. I think that there have been suggestions made that Democrats and Republicans
can agree on for border security that are not the wall…the fact that he is not willing to budge on that at the expense of 800,000 workers not being paid, a bunch of people who are on food stamps, they’re not getting food.”
Now that the government has been lifted from the shutdown, Trump assured he is only going to fund the government until February 15th.
Trump’s advisor, Mick Mulvaney, mentioned in an interview with CBS that if within these three weeks the government can’t come up with the solution to funding the money for the wall, Trump is willing to shutdown the government again after the previous shutdown, which lasted 35 days.
Ms. Kay added, “I think it’s super childish and it’s pretty clear that the person in charge is not representing our country. A better solution would be to look at some of the ideas that people have had for actual border security…”
Additionally, Mick Mulvaney mentioned how the unpaid workers will be paid the money back and will have their next paycheck submitted on time.
Rangeview Senior Zaire Guyton, whose parents both work for the government, said, “I think that Donald Trump is selfish and he’s pushing for something that he knows isn’t going to get done.”
How has the government shutdown affected students and the community of Colorado?
The Public Health Department was affected during the shutdown and can’t afford to have another closure. According to The New York Times, food inspections have been heavily affected by the shutdown, with high-risk foods such as seafood, fruits, and vegetables not being examined.
The New York Times reported, “F.D.A. inspectors normally examine operations at about 160 domestic manufacturing and food processing plants each week. Nearly one-third of them are considered to be at high risk of causing food-borne illnesses. Food-borne diseases in the United States send about 128,000 people to the hospital each year, and kill 3,000…”
While many agree that this is truly a controversial issue, it seems there has already been a decision made, although many people disagree with it. According to Trump, on his twitter, the building of the wall is already in progress and will continue for the next two years. Something that will undoubtedly continue to affect the United States and its citizens is the possible shutdown that Trump has said will happen if more of his demands are not met.