US Government Shutdown


  • G.S. Paper 3

What Led to the Shutdown?

  • On August 23, 2018, the U.S. Senate approved an $850 billion spending bill for Fiscal Year 2019. It kept the government running at current levels through December 7, 2018. That gave Congress time to debate other aspects of the spending bill until after the mid-term elections.
  • On September 18, Congress passed a short-term spending bill that funded the departments of Defense, Labor, Education, and Health and Human Services.

Rapprochement between Democratic Congressional leaders and Donald Trump 

  • On December 11, 2018, Democratic Congressional leaders met with President Trump. The meeting’s goal was to negotiate key budget points and avoid a shutdown.
  • Trump reiterated his threat to shut down the government if Democrats didn’t include $5 billion to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

What is the logic of democrats

  • But Democrats say the wall would be ineffective. They offered $1.3 billion to continue current border-security funding. It includes border fencing, levee walls, and technology but not a steel barrier wall.
  • Democrats argue that the administration only spent 6 percent of the $1.7 billion already allocated. They maintain that the wall is ineffective and wasteful.
  • Even the conservative Heritage Foundation agrees. It says the money would be better spent on technology and agents to prevent illegal crossings. It advocates more enforcement to apprehend immigrants who overstay their visas.


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