Shuttering down America


President Trump has once again threatened that he is ready for another shutdown only a few days after 800,000 federal employees returned to work after a 35-day unpaid furlough.

Congressional researchers have already started putting the figure of loss that the US economy was expected to incur at US$ 3 billion, about 0.02 per cent smaller than what was expected in 2019. This is not to mention the losses that the businesses and the employees who went without salary have suffered. If another shutdown happens over President Trump’s demand for border wall funding, it will be further detrimental to the country’s economy.

An increasingly large number of Americans, as per the reports, are blaming their President for being obstinate. Illegal border crossings into the US have declined dramatically in recent years, yet President Trump is insisting that a wall is necessary to stem a “humanitarian and national security crisis” in the region. The national opinion poll which ran between January 1 and January 7, saw a 4 percentage point jump to 51 per cent of those polled, compared to a similar poll between December 21 to 25, who see their President responsible for the impasse.

The President has asked Congress for nearly US$ 6 billion for the wall. Democratic leaders in the Congress have refused to approve funding for additional border fencing, saying that it is an ineffective way to secure the border. Republicans, however, strongly support President Trump’s pursuit of an expanded border wall. They have consistently ranked immigration as their top concern for the country.

The shutdown affected a broad swatch of the Federal government, including national parks, airline security screening, housing and food aid, and the release of economic data. Many of the commercial activities, including permits that the Federal government gives, either got delayed or were cancelled altogether. Hotels, airlines, restaurants, government contractors and nearly all the federal agencies that HSG works with, including NASA and the Department of Interior, got affected badly.

Some people are evening equating this with the Biblical prophecy that America would get divided into two halves.

If the shutdown happens again, more needless pain will be inflicted on so many people and a good number of businesses. It is time for the political leaders in Washington to find a solution to this impasse.

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