The shutdown is over, but what is next?


Hundreds gathered in downtown Atlanta for the Martin Luther King Jr. day parade, in which the state of our government and it's possibility of another shutdown was widely discussed. |Photo Credit: Ava Weinreb



Ava Weinreb, Director of Business

President Donald Trump called for a government shutdown on Dec. 22 in order to give Congress time to come up with a deal regarding his request for $5.7 billion for a wall along the southern border. The shutdown lasted until Jan. 25, making it the longest government shutdown in American history. Since then, Congress has reached a deal preventing another shutdown threatened by Trump. Congress agreed they would grant Trump and his administration $1.4 billion to build the infamous wall.  

The president also claims his demand to build the wall is nothing new, referring back to his 2016 campaign in which he promised southern border security from federal money and tax dollars. Democrats are outraged, claiming that money for the wall could be utilized more productively elsewhere, including in the Flint water crisis, support for the homeless and hungry and coverage of all medical needs for veterans.

A divided Congress claims that the $1.4 billion will be more than enough to build the wall and increase security along the border as well. However, President Trump  has proven hesitant to take anything less than the original $5.7 he called for. For perspective: the National Priorities Project analyzed the budget and found that the almost $6 billion could be used to cover all of Medicaids’ expenses, increase spending for renewable energy sources, increase public school budget by nearly 30% and give the EPA a raise of 60%. In order to enforce his original claims, Trump released a public statement saying he will call a national emergency, avoiding the approval of Congress, in order to obtain all the money he believes is required to construct the wall. A public outcry arose, debating whether or not security along the southern border is severe enough to call for a national emergency. In addition, there is also uncertainty as to whether it is legal to avoid the approval of Congress for federal money, considering they control and approve all other federal loan requests.  While it is likely that his plan to gain the money needed by calling a national emergency will fail, Trump continues to provoke with the idea of such measures in order to fulfill his promise of an impenetrable southern border.