UNH Experts Give Context to Government Shutdown

The government shut down on the one-year anniversary of the Trump presidency, and a lot of questions are being asked about what this means for the American people.

Political science professor Chris Haynes explains that there are two certainties about this shutdown.

“Playing politics is central and rampant and this shutdown in the Era of Trump was inevitable,” Haynes said.

Funding for the government expired on Jan. 20 at midnight, after a short-term spending bill failed in the Senate. This is the first government shutdown since 2013 that furloughed approximately 850,000 government employees per day, according to the Office of Management and Budget.

As a result of the 2013 government shutdown, thousands of federal employees were told not report to work as Federal Parks and other public facilities accessible to the American public were closed.

Political science professor Matthew Schmidt was one of the thousands affected by the 2013 shutdown.

“Our pay was stopped but eventually Congress agreed to back pay employees,” he said. “But it’s not automatic and it’s stressful for the tens of thousands of employees and their families who will not get paid on time, if at all.”

Until Congress is able to agree on a bill for the federal budget the fate of federals jobs are in limbo. According to CNN, American citizens that work for federal funded agencies and departments that are non essential, including agencies that pay out small business loans and process passports requests, will come to a halt immediately.

Democrats are not only looking for a spending bill that will solve a budget crisis that extends past the 30 day spending bill the Republicans have put forth, they are hoping to come to an agreement on the DREAMers, as the fate of thousands of young immigrants eligible for protection from deportation under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is set to expire in March.

Republicans are not willing to discuss this issue until government employees are back at work.

“I fear the more this resembles an episode of the Real Housewives, the less likely we are to reopen the government,” Haynes said. “We need cooler heads to prevail and for all parties to come back to the table to negotiate in good faith.”

Currently, there is a continuing resolution on the table that would only last three weeks. Democrats desire a spending bill that includes funding for storm-ravaged states, reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and an non negotiable agreement to hold votes on immigration reform, so that children now protected under DACA are not deported.