US Government Shutdown: How Did We Get Here? Essay

The American Federalism and Political Parties gave rise to a government shutdown, which was experienced in the early 2018. A shutdown happens when the constituent parts of a government close until the spending plans are sorted out by the government.

In the U.S. Government shutdown of 2018, many federal agencies closed down which caused hundreds of thousands of employees to take leaves. These leaves were, of course, without any pay as the country did not have any spending plan. Other major issues included the closing of essential services such as national security, air traffic control and electricity generation. Apart from these services, other non-essential services, such as visa and passport processing, were also delayed. Many departments whose proper function is necessary for the running of country also closed down, which include educational institutions, environmental protection agency, health and human services, NASA and national institute of health. This shutdown began on 21 January, 2018, and ended on the next evening.

According to Jim Mattis, the US Defense Secretary, more than 50% of his department was absent, and many critical tasks such as military’s maintenance and intelligence operations, came to a halt.

According to BBC News, this problem happened because the federal government failed to pass a spending bill. This bill is called an appropriations bill, and was to be passed by the Congress and countersigned by the US President Trump. The failure to do so caused a temporary shutdown of the government, due to which many other problems were raised.

The Democratic Party of the US wanted to have the bill passed so that the immigrants can be protected, which are eligible for the Childhood Arrivals act. Some Republicans were against the bill, and showed this opposition by voting against the bill. The problem was not solved and remained a hot issue until there was another shutdown on February 9th. The shutdown that occurred in February continued for a shorter period of five and half hours.

The Republican Party blamed Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, whose actions caused the bill to be blocked. On the other hand, the Democratic Party says that they had a deal on immigration.

More interestingly, this is not the first time that a government shutdown has happened in the U.S. as a shutdown in 2013 was experienced which lasted nearly 16 days. It happened when the Republican Party demanded to have President Obama’s affordable care act to be impeded through a spending bill.

The Solution

As evident from report by BBC, government shutdowns are bad Amadeo also supports the BBC report by implying that they cause the financial systems to run into turmoil and the debts to rise up. More importantly, they cause the workers to sit at homes without any pay, when they do not want to do it. It is especially harmful for middle-class or lower-class government employees, who are not financially strong enough to sit back without income. Therefore, a solution is necessary to avoid any further government shutdowns.

One of the simplest solutions to the problem is that the cooperation between federal house and constituent states should be increased. Secondly, the political parties should show some level of tolerance instead of attempting to destroy each other’s reparation, as happened in both 2013 and 2018. Specifically addressing the current problem of bill, the full senate needs to pass it. Another important thing that could help in avoiding further such problems, according to Kilmer, a representative in the US congress, is fixing the party leaders’ attitude. Once in power, they have an increasing temptation to replace the public debate with private negotiation. This causes the transparency of the legislative procedures to suffer; therefore, political parties should do what they are supposed to do.

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