The following was originally written for and published by Revolution Now Magazine.
The United States Federal Government entered a partial shutdown early Saturday morning as talks over funding for president Donald Trump's southern border wall reached a stalemate. So what does this mean, and who does it affect?
A government shutdown occurs when Congress fails to reach an agreement on an appropriations bill (a a piece of legislation that allocates funding to different parts of the government). Since this shutdown is only a partial one, employees from seven government agencies will be granted a leave of absence, while essential personnel will continue to work without pay. An estimated 380,000 federal workers will be sent home, while 420,000 more will go without payment. Employees from the Departments of Agriculture, Homeland Security, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Justice, State, and Treasury will be impacted by this shutdown.
The House and Senate held a meeting at noon, but they did not plan any votes. According to the House GOP leaders, lawmakers will be told of a scheduled vote a day beforehand. This is the third government shutdown in Donald Trump's administration, with the first one running from January 20-22 of this year, and the second taking place on February 9, 2018.
The shutdown appears to be in response to an argument between president Trump, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. The two Democrat leaders told him they would not approve a $5 billion dollar fund towards the barrier. Then, Schumer accused Trump of threatening a government shutdown over his wall ‘20 times.’ In response, Trump said, “if we don’t get what we want, one way or the other, whether it’s through you, through the military, through anything you want to call, I will shutdown the government.” He then stated that he would be proud to order a government shutdown if it was for ‘border security.’
Later, Pelosi tweeted, “Democrats are for real border security solutions, not for wasting billions of taxpayer dollars on an immoral, ineffective & expensive wall.”