Once again, the United States government is being “shutdown.” The second of its kind, the shutdown will effect at least nine executive departments of the federal government, including the Departments of State, the Treasury, and the Justice Department along with others causing lay-offs and furloughs of an estimated 800,000 federal employees.
During the 2013 shutdown, the Army Times announced that military personnel would continue to be required to report for duty without pay until further notice. This shutdown, however, is not anticipated to affect the Defense budget. However, many of those both directly and indirectly employed by the Defense Department may be furloughed or required to work without pay. Additionally, an estimated 40,000 or more Coast Guard personnel will also be required to work without pay – a fact which seems to contradict the Trump administration’s emphasis on supporting men and women in uniform and securing the homeland.
The latest shutdown comes as a response from the Trump administration after being refused $5.7 billion in public funds that the White House had hoped to direct toward building a U.S.-Mexico border wall. The denial comes as something of a surprise to many conservative constituents of the Republican-controlled Senate which unanimously voted not to support the border wall portion of the appropriations bill.
While many pundits on the political right have openly criticized the Trump administration’s shutdown, they continue to echo Trump’s campaign promise to “build the wall.” But some analysts observe that the Trump administration’s ‘hardball’ politics amount to a win-win situation for anti-government conservatives who have maintained an anti-taxation, “drain the swamp” platform since the late 1970s. Meanwhile, Democrats and liberal media outlets have decried the administration’s actions as “hostage-taking” of federal employees.
When asked how long the shutdown is expected to last, Congressional leaders have predicted the situation will continue into the New Year. If the shutdown does in fact continue through January, the economic impact is estimated to cost the U.S. economy over $10 billion, according to federal estimates.