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The U.S. Government Shutdown: A Two-Week Recap

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By: burgundy bug

A framed photograph of an eagle

Source: Framed Patriotic Eagle | Penelope Peru Photography P³

Going on day 14, the United States government has officially operated under a partial shutdown since last year, taking place quite inconveniently before Christmas.

Although many operations have ceased, leaving National Parks with a fecal crisis on their hands according to an article published by Vice earlier this week (talk about a shitty situation!), core government functions such as postal, military, and entitlement programs have remained untouched for the most part.

Why was the Government Shutdown?

If you’ve somehow managed to crawl far enough under a rock to avoid recent headlines, the government was shutdown on Dec. 20 due to lawmakers inability to satisfy President Donald Trump’s insatiable desire for a $5.6 billion wall constructed on the border of the United States and Mexico.

This was not the first government shutdown of 2018, and far from the first government shutdown in history.

However, President Trump is the only president in history, other than Jimmy Carter, to have a lapse in funding while their own party held the majority of both the House of Representatives and the Senate, according to CNN.

The U.S. Government Shutdown: A Two-Week Recap

On Dec. 21st. President Trump had announced that he and other political officials were prepared for ‘a very long shutdown’ if he was unable to get funding approved for the wall.

“We’re prepared for a very long shutdown”

Donald Trump: “We’re prepareed for a very long shutdown” | Guardian News

While postal, military, and entitlement programs remain primarily unaffected, NASA, national parks, and the I.R.S have suffered the consequences of this partial government shutdown.

9 out of fifteen of the executive departments impacted include:

  1. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  2. United States Department of Commerce (USDC)
  3. United States Department of Homeland Security (USDHS)
  4. United States Department of Housing and Urband Development (HUD)
  5. United States Department of Interior (USDOI)
  6. United States Department of Justice (USDOJ)
  7. United States Department of State (USDOS)
  8. United States Department of Transportation (USDOT)
  9. United States Department of Treasury (USDT)

Official notices posted on the websites of the USDA, USDC, USDHS, HUD, USDOJ


According to a lawsuit filed by a federal employees union following the shutdown, approximately 400,000 federal employees have been forced to work illegally without any compensation.

Sitting down for a discussion at Fox News on Dec. 23, Director of the Office of Management and Budget and Mick Mulvaney predicted the shutdown would sprawl on passed the 28th and into the new Congress, which were sworn in on the evening of Jan. 3.

“It’s very possible that the shutdown will go beyond the 28th and into the new Congress”

Source: Mick Mulvaney goes inside border wall negotiations and a timeline for agreement,… | Fox News

On Christmas Eve, Democratic Senate Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and (prior to being sworn in) Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) released a joint statement which called out our president for “plunging the country into a state of chaos”.

According to USA Today, the Senate and House of Representatives returned to work on Dec. 27. Both chambers of Congress quickly adjourned their sessions until the 31st holding no votes, signaling that little progress had been made in resolving the partial shutdown.

Naturally, President Trump took to Twitter, blaming the Democrats for obstructing the “desperately needed wall”.

The Democrats OBSTRUCTION of the desperately needed Wall, where they almost all recently agreed it should be built, is exceeded only by their OBSTRUCTION of 350 great people wanting & expecting to come into Government after being delayed for more than two years, a U.S. record!

Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 27, 2018

During congressional meetings on Dec. 31, the House of Representatives unveiled legislation to be voted on the following Thursday, which was intended to put an end to the partial government shutdown. Among these bills included plans to fund departments that were affected, according to The Guardian.

Despite the national government falling apart before our very eyes, President Trump wanted We The People to JUST CALM DOWN AND ENJOY THE RIDE in preparation for the supposed GREAT THINGS HAPPENING FOR OUR COUNTRY! on Jan. 1.


Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 1, 2019

New members of Congress were sworn in on Thursday, Jan. 3. The House – with Democrats now serving as the majority – voted on the aforementioned legislation, which also rejected President Trump’s request for funding in spite of his threats to veto their bill.

The bill proposed by the House of Representatives passed with a vote of 239-192, with five Republicans also supporting the legislation, according to CNN.

So… What Now?

And now… We wait. Despite the efforts of our now-democratic lower chamber of Congress and House Speaker Pelosi adamantly swimming against the current of the wall, it is unlikely that this legislation will stand any ground in the Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) released a statement prior to their vote, referring to their bill as “political theater”.

“We need an arrangement that can check these three boxes: [1] Pass the house. [2] Achieve the support of at least 60 senators. [3] Get a presidential signature. It’s not complicated… [The legislation proposed by the House of Representatives] is in my view, not a serious attempt to check all three of those boxes… The Senate will not take up any proposal that does not have a real chance of passing this chamber and getting a presidential signature. Let’s not waste the time.”

Source: Mitch McConnell: Let’s Not Waste Time Getting Off On The Wrong foot 1/3/19 | LIVE ON-AIR NEWS

With McConnell’s statement and President Trump’s determination, it doesn’t look like our government shutdown will be reaching it’s end any time soon. Continuing at this rate, you can expect a three week recap of the government shutdown here on The Burgundy Zine on Jan. 11.

Otherwise, you can still keep up with current events by tuning in next Wednesday for the second installment of What in the World Wednesdays. For the time being, you can catch up on what’s going in the world in the first installment, which was released earlier in the week.

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burgundy bug


A cynical optimist and mad scientist undercover, burgundy bug is the editor, graphic designer, webmaster, social media manager, and primary photographer for The Burgundy Zine. Entangled in a web of curiosity, burgundy bug’s work embodies a wide variety of topics including: neuroscience, psychology, ecology, biology, cannabis, reviews, fashion, entertainment, and politics. You can learn more about working with burgundy bug by visiting her portfolio website: burgundybug.com

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