President Trump holds nation hostage

President Trump holds nation hostage

Photo Credits: CAITLYN SAMPLEY / AGGIE

Government shutdown to affect students, faculty

As the government shutdown nears the end of its third week, 800,000 federal workers have found themselves either furloughed or forced to work without pay for an indefinite period of time. The shutdown was initiated after Congress failed to pass a budget due to disagreement over funding for a border wall. The closure, which started on Dec. 22, is on track to break the record for longest government shutdown, with Trump warning that it could carry on for “months or even years.”

The livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of government employees from nine federal departments and a few smaller agencies, including Justice, Homeland Security, Agriculture and Transportation, have been put on hold. These workers, suffering anxiety over whether they’ll be able to pay future bills and provide for their families, have been caught in the crosshairs of a heedless political battle perpetuated by Trump and the GOP. And as the weeks drag on, all Americans — including UC Davis students and faculty — will increasingly bear the burden of Trump’s infantile squabbles. At the same time, migrants and families waiting at the border will continue to suffer the consequences of a non-functioning government.

With federal agencies like the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis closed indefinitely, the collection and release of data crucial to academic studies and research has nearly slowed to a stop. The scientific community has also suffered a devastating hit as laboratories across the nation have closed, including those of the Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Time-sensitive research has consequently been delayed and grant money has potentially been jeopardized. Although academic research itself has so far continued largely unscathed, a long-term shutdown could threaten universities’ ability to secure federal funding for future projects.

California’s national parks, which many Davis students visit to take a break from school, have been especially burdened by the shutdown. The parks are currently severely understaffed and visitor centers have closed, though the grounds have remained open with very little supervision and enforcement of rules. As a result, garbage cans and toilets are overflowing with trash and human waste, and off-road driving, poaching and other “lawlessness” in the parks have reportedly damaged the wildlife and environment. Popular destinations like Sequoia, Joshua Tree, Muir Woods and parts of Yosemite have consequently been forced to close their campgrounds due to health and safety concerns. Other national parks will undoubtedly follow suit if the government fails to reopen soon.

The shutdown also imperils the funding of the anti-hunger Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — better known on campus as CalFresh — which provides food stamps for about 40 million people and is expected to run out of money by the end of February. To further add to the chaos, the Food and Drug Administration, which supervises approximately 80 percent of the food supply in the U.S., announced that it has suspended food safety inspections of fruits, vegetables, seafood and other products considered high-risk for contamination.

It’s absurdly careless of the president and Republicans — those purportedly elected to represent the interests of Americans — to endanger such critical necessities and bring sectors of the government to a grinding halt over a ridiculous plan for a border wall. With seemingly no consideration of Americans’ lives, the Trump administration childishly and recklessly continues to hold the nation hostage.

Written by: The Editorial Board

3 Comments on this Post

  1. Federal Employee

    To start, I am a Federal Worker and an Independent stuck between the Democrats and Republicans, but this is what I see. It is the ones who went vacationing, instead of trying to work on a solution, which are shutting down the government. To make it easy for you, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. President Trump offered a compromise, give me the wall; I give you citizen ship for all DACA people. It should not be a problem considering the congress is looking to spend over $4 trillion dollars this year but they refuse to budge. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer both votes for a $35 billion dollar wall in the past; this would protect all the DACA people; win/win, but no. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer do not care about the DACA people or they would take the deal, they are just using them. They do not care about Americans otherwise; they would protect America and its citizens as they protect themselves at home, with a wall. Did you know Illegal Aliens can get around $3,500 a month assistance, yet the elderly who have given their whole life to this country, and are on Social Security, only receive around $1,400 dollars? It is Congress, not the presidency, which controls the money and the reason we have a $20 trillion dollar deficit. This is the reason, like the office of the president, and we need term limits on Congress. As many Democrats have said to me, “Congress should not get paid until this is resolved; I agree; maybe then they would act like adults instead of brats.

  2. come on their has got to be a better way of doing this me as a tax payer I don’t want to pay for a wall mabey we should have a national vote weather to have it or not and all party’s live buy the vote eather way it goes

    • Adam….simple Math. 4.4 trillion dollar budget and asking for 5.8 billion, would be equal to you having a $440,000 home budget and spending $58 dollars to fix your fence around your house.

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