Shutdown Low Down

PICRYL | PHOTO COURTESY The shut down affects a wide range of government functions.

President Donald Trump has recently forced an ultimatum to fund one of his campaign promises. He wants over $5 billion for the southern border wall, and the government will not open if he does not get his way.

This partial government shutdown is 23 days long, making it the longest federal government shutdown in U.S. history. Currently, nine departments are without funding and many government workers have gone without paychecks.

Over 800,000 workers are affected by the shutdown, and some have taken to the streets to protest the ongoing standoff. ABC News reported on Trina Ford, an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) worker who was protesting the shutdown. “Please let us go back to work. We’re hungry. We’re running out of money, and it’s not about any party,” Ford said.

“He’s not asking for everything. He’s asking for a small amount of our budget to help this crisis we have on our southern border.” 

– Cale Dunwoody, president of NDSU College Republicans 

North Dakota is feeling some of the effects of the shutdown. According to KVRR, farmers in the state will not be getting proper market information because the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will fail to release its monthly World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates. This could cause farmers a lot of grief in an already volatile trade driven market.

KVRR also reported that national parks in the area will be open to foot and vehicle traffic, but visitor centers will be closed. Also, websites are down for all national parks. Another way this could affect the state is through small businesses that rely on loans. The shutdown forced the Small Business Association to stop issuing loans, leaving some with very little options for their businesses.

After an address to the nation in which the president pleaded for Congress to fund the wall, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said, “We don’t govern by temper tantrum,” and added that both parties want stronger border security, but disagree on how to do it. Both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Schumer want the government to reopen.

Cale Dunwoody, president of the NDSU College Republicans, said he is in favor of measures to cull illegal immigration, stating, “I think it’s very important that our government takes proactive measures to make sure immigration is under control.” Dunwoody said the problem of illegal immigration and unsecured borders is an American, Mexican and Central American problem because of issues such as sex trafficking.

According to Dunwoody, $5 billion is a reasonable amount to spend on border protection in relation to the overall federal budget.  “I think President Trump is being very reasonable,” Dunwoody said. “He’s not asking for everything. He’s asking for a small amount of our budget to help this crisis we have on our southern border.”

“I think President Trump realizes families are struggling, and he’s going to do what’s best for America,” Dunwoody said. Dunwoody also said he would like to see the shutdown end and the wall to be built, but he is unsure in which order those two things will happen.

ABC News reported that Trump is looking into drawing funds from the Army Corps of Engineers in order to fund the wall under the pretext of a national emergency. Whether the president can legally do this is under debate.

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