January 22, 2018
The United States Federal government shut down on Jan. 19 for the first time since 2013. As of this writing, the shutdown continues. Here are some updates and what the shutdown means for you and what could happen in the coming months as a result:
F-YOU to workers
The U.S political class—both Republicans and Democrats—have sent a big F-YOU to working class Americans. A Federal government shutdown always… always-always ends up affecting working people. According to USA TODAY:
The shutdown initially has a limited impact because it is the weekend, and most government agencies aren't open anyway. But if the shutdown drags on, it could have a significant influence both on employees and people seeking government services.
Federal workers deemed “essential” have to stay on the job and key government functions — such as national security operations and law enforcement work — remain up and running. But anyone who is not essential has to stay home.
Wounding the economy
The government shutdown will have negative consequences on the economy reports the HuffPost:
Standard & Poor’s estimated that the 2013 shutdown sucked $24 billion out of the economy, cutting quarterly gross domestic product growth by 0.6 percent. The ratings agency noted that shutdowns deliver a blow to consumer confidence, particularly for the hundreds of thousands of workers who don’t know if or when they’ll get paid.
Also, The New York Times looks at the impact on the economy here.
Assault on healthcare
Politicians like to play with people’s lives. Whatever score they’re trying win, it won’t benefit the millions of people who relay on public healthcare. NBC News reports that:
A government shutdown will have far-reaching effects for public health, including the nation’s response to the current, difficult flu season. It will also disrupt some federally supported health services, experts said Friday.
In all, the Department of Health and Human Services will send home — or furlough — about half of its employees, or nearly 41,000 people, according to an HHS shutdown contingency plan released Friday.
The Scientific community reacts
The Union of Concerned Scientists has released a statement called “Government Shutdown Puts Americans at Risk”. The statement sides with undocumented immigrants under attack by the Trump administration and states that:
As we saw in 2013, there are very real impacts of a government shutdown. Safety protections won’t be enforced and scientific studies will lapse, or cease entirely, causing months of disruption to federal agencies—agencies that, today, are already understaffed or led by underqualified presidential appointees.
Since Trump loves to brag, therefore he can brag about #TrumpShutdown being the top hashtag:
According to The Hill:
#TrumpShutdown, a hashtag used by Democrats ahead of Friday night’s deadline for Congress to pass a government spending bill, shot to the top of Twitter’s “Worldwide” trending topics.
Republicans argue it is Senate Democrats who are to blame because they blocked a House GOP bill that would have kept the government open for another months.
What’s open and what’s closed?
The government shutdown (#TrumpShutdown) affects several agencies. Others, however, will remain open. The U.S. Postal Office and federal courts will remain open, because these are necessities—the Post Office is an independent entity that operates on its own funding while the courts will remain open to prosecute people. Parks, zoos, and even Smithsonian museums will remain open, but that could change.
For more details at WTOP.