Wider Impact of 800,000 Unpaid Federal Employees

Despite proposals for short-term fixes, president Trump has stood firm several times so far over funding for the wall, and it means the government shutdown appears set to continue. While a national emergency seems the very last resort, Trump has already rejected plans to reopen government departments as the debate over wall funding continues…so what happens now?

Well, even those who have been watching politics for decades would struggle to answer that question, and it means some 800,000 federal workers are left with uncertainty over their financial future. While many are struggling to pay for mortgages and simple living expenses, others are trying to take their mind off the problems by continuing their work despite no pay (including air traffic controllers at O’Hare International Airport).

Is the debate progressing? Well, President Trump has met with lawmakers and aides (while also tweeting about his experiences), and he has noted the importance of the wall not only for security but also humanitarian reasons. While at a farming convention, he suggested that those not getting paid agree that there’s ‘no substitute’ for a barrier on the border. However, some have spoken openly against this comment.

Trickle Down Effect

If the shutdown marches into February, there’s a large concern the trickle-down effect will drag millions of other Americans into financial hardship. With the Department of Housing and Urban Development not receiving funding, one Schaumburg resident, Diane Rock, claims she’ll be evicted because of Trump’s administration. Unfortunately, there are similar stories all over the country. Although a spending bill has passed the House, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has so far failed to call this legislation to a vote.

In the most recent meeting between President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the former walked out of the meeting and branded it a ‘waste of time.’ Shortly after, officials from the White House claimed that an emergency order could be the solution since it would allow the government to be reopened without Trump having to compromise and lose support. However, this comes with its own problems – court challenges and a new precedent for executive power being too high on the list.

The Future of the Shutdown

For Trump, there’s more than one motivation to keep fighting for the funding. As well as this being a key promise in his 2016 election campaign, we also need to remember that the next election is only next year. For those planning to support him for a second term, they won’t want to see him back down over this key issue.

Would rank-and-file Democrats work with Trump and build a consensus for the wall? Will the government be reopened until February 1st and/or February 28th with the two bills to be discussed and voted on? According to Rep. Nota Lowey, the bills offer additional options which would allow the government to reopen and discussions to continue over border security. However, all these questions are still to be answered in the days ahead.

Among the public, opinions are divided; it seems a small majority oppose the wall. Following this, Trump seems to have been awarded with the blame by most Democrats and also a chunk of Republicans (who say it’s the responsibility of Trump or a mixture of both parties).

While Vice President Pence recently met with Senate Republicans, senators from both parties had a meeting too so discussions are always ongoing and this keeps a burning flame of hope for those being affected deeply by the shutdown.

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