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“It cost us more to shut the government down than to keep it open,” U.S. Senator Rand Paul said in 2013 about the government shutdown from that year that lasted 16 days.
The government has been partially shut down since Saturday, Dec. 22, 2018. This is the longest shutdown since 1995 when President Bill Clinton was in office. President Donald Trump is demanding more than $5 billion for his U.S. – Mexico border wall and Democratic politicians strongly oppose. In consequence of the shutdown, federal workers are going without pay.
A few APSU students were interviewed on what they know about the shutdown and how they feel about it. Here is what they had to say.
“It happened like once that I remember back in 2013,” Kianna Johnson, sophomore Graphic Design major, said. “It felt like nothing happened, honestly. I think this is way more serious. At least that’s what everyone is making it out to be.”
Currently, it is a priority to stock up on food as those who receive government assistance through food stamps try to stretch their benefits through the month, and maybe even beyond.
“I read an article where families wouldn’t be getting food stamps anymore so there were donations and stuff for the people that needed things,” Johnson said.
Moreover. according to WBTV, there are already shelters that are getting more people who need help. As a result, shelters are planning to stay on top of donations to make sure there are enough to go around.
Hailey-Lynn Gipson, a freshman special education major attends APSU with the financial backing of money her mother gets from the Coast Guard but has not received anything since the shutdown. “I’m not getting the money I should be,” Gipson said.
The Coast Guard factor into the 400,000 plus federal workers being asked to work without pay. These workers are involved in the safety of human life or the protection of property. So far this has included the Coast Guard, FBI and TSA officials, with the latter losing the urge to work effectively.
“This is actually serving as a huge security threat,” Edward Greer, senior political science major, said. “The people in the TSA are kind of getting a little bit careless now. Someone actually snuck a gun into a Delta flight recently.”
While it is illegal for federal employees to go on strike and combat the shutdown, everyone is patiently awaiting a resolution. With no definitive end in sight, people like Greer are wishfully thinking.
“I don’t see Trump as a rational actor,” Greer said. “The only way that I could see anyone being able to talk him down is if he somehow became rational.”
The shutdown is a pivotal moment in US history and it affects everyone in some way.