By: Melissa Freed
On January 20, 2018 in Washington D.C., the federal government partially shut down after the Senate rejected a short-term spending bill on the previous Friday night. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had pledged to keep the Senate in session, and the House was to reconvene on Saturday to vote on what Senate would pass. The vote began less than two hours before government funding was supposed to expire, and many were trying to negotiate to reach a deal. However, the total votes fell 50-49 against the bill that would’ve kept the government running for four more weeks. Many Senate Democrats had rejected the bill because it did not prevent the deportation of 800,000 undocumented immigrants who were illegally brought to the United States as children. Democratic leaders would only support the bill if it provided protection for young immigrants.
Trump went to Twitter to voice his opinion about the government shutdown and targeted Democratic leaders for rejecting the funding bill. He accused Democrats for intentionally shutting down the government to draw attention away from the Republicans success on passing tax cuts.
The blame game between Republicans and Democrats continued as McConnell states that Democrats “believe that the issue of illegal immigration is more important than everything else, all of the government services people depend on.” Then, democratic Senator Patrick Leahy fired back that it was the President and Republican majority in Congress who couldn’t fulfill their duties to complete the task at hand. Leahy says that the “Republican leadership — led by President Trump —has brought us to the brink of a government shutdown.”
Chuck Schumer, the Democratic Senate Minority Leader, agreed that the shutdown was caused due to Trump’s failure to lead his party in compromising with the Democrats. Schumer and Trump had met Friday afternoon to discuss the spending deal, but the President wouldn’t budge about getting an immigration deal in order.
The feud over who is to blame caused people on twitter to weigh in on the issue. The shutdown became a top trending topic on Twitter. #TrumpShutdown was at the top of Twitter’s “Worldwide” trending topics. The shutdown displays the difficulties of the Republican and Democratic parties to work together in order to benefit the nation.
The effects of the 2018 government shutdown are not as drastic as the shutdown in 2013, but are still not ideal. The key difference between the shutdown in 2018 and the one in 2013 is that monuments and parts of the national parks will remain open. Medicare programs are still running, the postal service is still operating, and Social Security is still in motion. Military troops and police will continue working, but their pay may be hindered by the shutdown. If an agreement is not met, then some federal offices will remain closed, but on Friday at least twenty-six federal agencies updated their contingency plans to make the shutdown less burdensome.