A Short Lived Shutdown

Mike Chu, Editor

On January 22, Congress officially reopened the doors of the government, ending the shutdown that started on Friday of last week. The issue was resolved when legislators agreed to fund the government until February 8. Federal workers will be returning to their workplaces after only missing one workday.

The shutdown was centered around the protection of children who were brought to the U.S. illegally. These children, also known as “dreamers,” were originally protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which was passed during the Obama administration. However the cancellation of the bill by President Trump caused a major political turmoil within Congress. According to the news website Independent, “He (President Trump) said he wanted to include any deal for dreamers in a bigger legislative package that also boosted funding for a wall and tighter security measures along the US border with Mexico.”

After three long days of debating and negotiations, the two parties finally arrived at a satisfactory conclusion. The legislators will continue to fund the government through February 8 if Republican leader Mitch McConnell addresses the issue of “dreamers” at a later date. According the the Washington Post, even though “he (Senator McConnell) did not offer a specific promise to protect dreamers, and suggested that he would offer nothing if the government shut down again”, the stopgap bill was enough to convince 33 Democrats to join hands with 48 Republicans, ending the eventful yet short lived shutdown.

While President Trump announced that he was “…pleased that Democrats in Congress have come to their senses,” and promised that they would “work toward solving the problem of very unfair illegal immigration”, many Democrats openly announced their discontent and uncertainty about the stopgap bill. One of their main concerns are placing their trust in the Republican party. According to Senator Kamala D. Harris from California, one of the 16 Senators who vetoed the bill, “he (Senator McConnell)  did not make a commitment.” In short, Democrats do not trust Senator McConnell or the Republicans to hold up their part of the deal. Even if the the issue is addressed again, many democrats are skeptical of change. Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas stated “he (Senator McConnell) has not changed since Friday,” Cotton said. “He has not changed since September.”

As distrust and skepticism thrives inside Capitol Hill, legislators seem to be losing the trust of the people as well. On Monday, as the bill was passed, dozens of people gathered to protest the reopening of the government without the protection of “dreamers.”  Senator Lindsey O. Graham of South Carolina stated that “nobody trusts anybody around here (Senate),” Graham said just before the vote. “And most Americans don’t trust any of us.”

As government workers return to their normal lives today, “dreamers” will continue to wait anxiously as the government decides their fate.