Breakdown of the government shutdown

THE BUDGETARY TIME LINE — The government also shutdown in 2013 with the same spirit of uncompromising ideas.The initial budget proposal was passed by President Trump on March 16 and since, the debates have yet to be resolved. (Vox)


After a weekend-long shutdown, The House has followed  the Senate and agreed to fund the U.S. government for three weeks. Still, many Americans find themselves uneasy at the idea that the government shut  down in the first place, meaning all unessential employees  will be instructed not to return to work, and typically essential  services such as national security, emergency health care and  postal services will be expected  to continue without pay. Notably, this time no one has missed  paychecks as of Monday.

One might ask, “How does the most powerful country in  the world find itself in a government shutdown?” The answer  lies in money, as is the cause for many issues.

The U.S. Senate has failed to vote on a new budget for the next financial year, and without approved funding, nothing runs. However, this question does not satiate curiosity. The murder weapon is fine and dandy, but there is still a lookout for the  perpetrator. The next step is asking why.

“Why” is a more complicated question, of course. At this  point, establishing a timeline is  useful. President Trump submitted his budget on March 16,  2017, which is slightly later than the federal budget law 31 U.S.C.  § 1105a’s deadline, the first Monday of February. However, this  delay is not uncommon when  the incumbent belongs to a different party. The last time there  was a delay was the 2013 Obama administration budget, the year the government was shut down  for 16 days, costing $24 billion in tax payer dollars.

Nevertheless, this delay does not excuse lawmakers from  failing to meet their own deadline, Jan. 17. On Wednesday,  Congress officially missed their  deadline and national parks began reduced activity. Joint efforts  on the part of both Democrats and Republicans were made in  an attempt to reach a temporary extension on Friday, but  no agreement could be made.  At midnight on Saturday, funding for the 2017 financial year  officially ran out and Shutdown  began. This lack of progress continued to the work week as both  parties pointed the blame on the other. Democratic party leader, Senator Chuck Schumer, cited the volatility of negotiations with President Trump:

“The President must take yes for an answer. Until he does, it’s the Trump shutdown.”

The “yes” above refers to Schumer’s tentative offer of a U.S. border wall, one of Trump’s famous campaign promises. The  majority leader, Mitch McConnell, claims the president’s actions are due to the Democratic  party demanding too much at once:

“The President wouldn’t resolve months of ongoing negotiations over massive issues in  one brief meeting and give the Democratic leader everything he wants.”

The Democrats’ filibuster is  on a budget plan for 2018. However, the reason for the filibuster  is to force Republicans to commit to addressing immigration  policy, which the Republicans refuse to do until a budget is passed.

We are left with two lines of  reasoning: the shutdown is because the majority party are trying to exert their will over the  other by being uncooperative, or  the Democrats are holding hostage the government in order to  push their agenda on immigration.

Whether the shut down is a Democratic or Republican one,  it’s clear the subject of immigration looms too large to wait.

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