By Liliana López, Clarion Section Editor
If you’ve been watching the news lately, you probably know that high school isn’t the only place with over-the-top drama: the White House itself has, as of late, been a place of political scandal and vendetta. There has, over the past month and a half, been a great deal of confusion over what exactly is happening on Capitol Hill. The government has been shut down and reopened, and the country has been declared to be in a state of national emergency, all due to an unresolved bipartisan debate over what should be done at the U.S.-Mexico border. Is the government shut down, partially shut down, or completely open? Moreover, what exactly is a government shutdown? A government shutdown is when the government pauses funding to certain departments which are deemed non-essential. Workers may lose pay and certain services may also stop operating.
The recent government shutdown, which lasted from December 22, 2018, to January 25, 2019 (35 days), cost the government approximately $3.6 billion, according to S&P 500, an American stock market index. Critics have pointed out that this amount, however, is almost null when compared to the $18 billion Trump requested to pay for the construction of a steel wall at the U.S.-Mexico border. The constructing of this wall, along with immigration policy in general, has generated a plethora of heated debate. While liberals are generally advocating for a more open border policy, conservatives, including President Trump, are looking for something with more stricture and enforcement. The debate has caused so much angst between the parties that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) refused to allow the President to deliver his planned State of the Union Address until the government was reopened. The speech, intended to be delivered on January 29th, was accordingly postponed until February 6.
On Friday, February 15, President Trump declared a national emergency in attempt to direct even more funds toward the building of aforementioned wall. He announced this in a speech delivered the same day in the White House’s Rose Garden, a speech reportedly replete with misinformation and inaccurate statistics. This act has created havoc within the nation, with both Democrats and Republicans expressing outrage, and 16 states suing the President. As the state of emergency has now lasted almost a week, the country continues to remain in a state of uncertainty over who will win, if anyone at all.