By TAYLOR FERREIRA
As you have probably heard, our government is at a current halt. There is a literal wall splitting our Senate in half, and President Trump has made it clear that he will not support the re-opening of the government until a deal on the wall funding is made. On the other side, Democrats are arguing that the government should be opened immediately in order for border control and security to truly be set in motion. We are currently in the longest government shutdown in history, and the Senators are no closer to making a decision. “It’s short-term deal, it’s long-term deal, it’s $5 billion, it’s $2 billion, it’s $1.6 billion, it’s DACA, it’s no DACA,” one Democratic senator said, confirming that little progress has been made.
As a result, hundreds of thousands of workers have missed their paychecks. More than 450,000 are required to work without pay, and over 380,000 are currently furloughed. This includes those who work in commerce, agriculture, homeland security, treasury, and transportation. Coast guard workers are struggling, as well as TSA workers, or the Transportation Security Administration, causing a build-up of people in airport security lines. Federal aviation workers are dependant on the government workers using their transportation system, and “can’t take this much longer.” Many workers are worried about paying their bills, and many stores have reported large numbers of returns from these government employees as they can no longer afford them. Jacob Owens, an owner of Premier Rental Properties explains how “it’s now a matter of surviving as a business.” He and his employees are wondering how long they will be able to last, as “not only are [they] going to go out of business, many of [their] competitors will as well.”
National Parks are also suffering. According to the National Parks Conservation Association, many are choosing to remain open, as they want to “keep national parks as accessible as possible while still obeying the law.” However, without sufficient workers available due to the shutdown, the park maintenance and safety isn’t receiving the necessary attention. Wildlife is suffering due to the build up of trash, and there are many reports of visitors that are entering protected areas and destroying the land. Without bathroom maintenance, human waste is building up and is a serious concern for human and wildlife health. Visitor safety is at risk without park rangers, and there are already reports of missing visitors and several deaths. Moreover, search and rescue attempts will be delayed, further affecting the condition of the parks and the public.
So will these effects cause the Senate to make a compromise? If not, how long can these workers and businesses last? Who will yield? Only time can tell. But how much damage will this dispute cause until a decision will be made?