Illinois residents know all too well the damaging effects of a government impasse.
A state-budget standoff in Illinois from July 2015 to August 2017 had a crippling effect on entities that rely on state funding, including social service agencies that were forced to close.
A similar situation is playing out with the partial federal government shutdown that, as of press time on Dec. 28, was about a week long and expected to continue into the new year.
President Donald Trump has demanded $5 billion for a border wall for Mexico, and Democrats have pushed back, recently refusing anything above $1.3 billion, which would go to new border fencing and levee walls, but not the type of wall that Trump desires.
According to reports, the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate held a meeting on Dec. 27 but adjourned with no action taken. No votes were expected until the week of Dec. 31.
The shutdown has affected about 800,000 employees who don’t know when they’ll receive their next paycheck.
About 420,000 of them were labeled “essential” and are working unpaid during the standoff, unable to take sick days or vacation. Another 380,000 are at home receiving no pay.
The Senate passed a bill to ensure that workers will be paid, and the House was likely to do the same. However, it is another case of Americans who live paycheck to paycheck being victimized by government officials who enjoy far better financial situations.
On social media, people are using the hashtag ShutdownStories to share the difficulties they’re having in caring for themselves and their families.
The Environmental Protection Agency and the Smithsonian museums, which had been directed to find funding to stay open as long as possible, announced on Dec. 27 that reserve funds that had carried them through this week would soon end. The EPA was set to close at midnight on Dec. 28, with the museum and the National Zoo to follow suit on Wednesday, Jan. 2.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency said the National Flood Insurance Program will not issue new policies during the impasse.
A poll showed that 47 percent of adults held Trump responsible for the shutdown, with 33 percent blaming Democrats in Congress and 7 percent blaming Republicans in Congress.
They all share the blame—and the shame.