Political Focus: A summary of the shutdown one month in

“I am proud to shutdown the government for border security… I will be the one to shut [the government] down.”

This is what President Donald Trump had to say on Dec. 11 in a meeting with the current Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer regarding a government shutdown. Now, one month after the partial shutdown on Dec. 22, 2018, we still don’t appear to have an end in sight.

This was the second shutdown in 2018, the first shutdown happening over an immigration argument and DACA funding, and it is the longest shutdown in United States history.

The reason for the shutdown? $5.7 billion dollars for a wall on the southern border. Any spending plan that goes through Congress must contain funding for the border wall, and both Republicans and Democrats are not budging on either side.

This shutdown had cost the U.S. around $3.6 billion as of Friday, Jan. 11. Not only is there the monetary loss that the U.S. has felt, but the shutdown has also affected a number of employees of the federal government.

800,000 federal employees have been affected by the shutdown. 800,000 missed paychecks, 800,000 people that, for the past month, have had to learn how to live without having financial security.

While there are some government agencies with separate funding that have continued to run, the length of the shutdown has started to dig into others. The EPA, FDA, part of the IRS, museums and some national parks are closed with employees furloughed due to the government shutdown.

A variety of other government services are limping along, with TSA officials working without pay and the USDA functioning with limited funding.

Other agencies and operations are running, but they may soon run out of funding if the shutdown continues.

The services that are still available are cut off at the knees, causing problems for normal citizens. Small businesses being unable to take out federally-assisted loans, and farmers being unable to get supplies without help from the USDA are some examples of regular people being affected. There are videos floating around the internet of extraordinarily long lines at TSA checkpoints, causing passengers to miss flights.

Both sides are continuing to negotiate, but neither party appears to be budging.

Pelosi has suggested in a letter to Trump he reschedule the State of the Union address due to the shutdown causing safety concerns. The address has not been rescheduled since Reagan was in office, where the State of the Union was scheduled on the same day as the Challenger disaster.

The president’s office is still preparing for the address despite Pelosi’s letter.

So, what steps have been taken to rectify this shutdown? This week, the House is voting on a spending bill that will have money for border security, but will not contain the money for Trump’s border wall.

Odds are, this bill will die in the Senate without the funding for the wall included.