Government Shutdown

Republicans and Democrats fighting over DACA, CHIP, and the Budget

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Midnight hit, the money was gone, and a plan was not approved.

This past January the United States government shutdown for a total of three days. What this means is that all of the “nonessential” employers did not go to work due to lack of funds to pay for their jobs. The last shutdown in 2014 had about 40% people not come to work who were federal non military employees. The military, law enforcement, social security, coast guard, air traffic controllers, and more still go to work during these shutdowns. In the past there have been 18 government shutdowns due to various reasons.

The reason for this shutdown is that the government is currently running on the budget of money from last year and the budget has expired. After the expiration date, the government has been taking out temporary loans to fund itself a few days at a time.

However, the reason for this shutdown goes beyond the need for a new budget plan. The Republicans in the Senate have created a budget for this year which includes a raise in defense spending; however, the Democrats oppose this plan.

In order for the budget to be passed, there needs to be a 60 vote supermajority in the Senate. Currently, the Republicans hold  51 seats while the Democrats and Independents hold 49 seats. In order for this budget to be passed, the Republicans need to convince 9 democrats to sway to their side.

None of the Democrats in this case are swaying since they have leverage. Before they agree to the budget they want DACA to be kept. (Link to DACA article-pages 4-5)

As I have always said, once the Government is funded, my Administration will work toward solving the problem of very unfair illegal immigration,” Trump said. “We will make a long-term deal on immigration if, and only if, it is good for our country.”

— President Donald Trump

Instead of approving DACA, Senate Republicans said that they would extend CHIP, Children’s Health Insurance Program). This health insurance was scheduled to end in December of 2017 and the Republicans are saying that they will extend it for 6 more years in the Democrats agree to this over DACA. As of February 15th, 2017 8,900,000 children were enrolled in the CHIP program. CHIP supports children from low-income families. Many Democrats say that they do not want to have to choose between children and their healthcare and the DREAMers.

The Democrats are blaming Republicans and Trump for this shutdown, saying that there is a failure to govern and this is the first ever shut down in history where a single party controlled both chambers of Congress as well as the White House. And as of now, both parties have been unable to reach an agreement and find a middle ground between the issues. Many say that the two sides are are close to agreement but democrats won’t give their blessing until immigration agreement is also reached

On the weekend of February 10th the government experienced another shutdown, and agreed to temporarily fund themselves until late March.


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