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OPINION: The shutdown of the government helps no one

This government shutdown is out of control and it needs to end

The Government Shutdown of 2018-2019 is the longest shutdown in US history, now being over a month since the shutdown has started. This is due to President Donald Trump’s decision to shut down the government for not funding the Mexican border wall that he’s promised since his campaign. President Trump has promised to prolong the shutdown, going so far as to suggest a year-long shutdown.

There’s a lot of blame being cast between Democrats and Republicans. Yet at the end of the day, the most affected are the government workers who are going to work without pay and those who rely on government aid like military benefits and food stamps.

For students, financial aid disbursement is not affected by the shutdown. However there have already been instances of schools being affected by the government shutdown. Signing up for financial aid requires documents from the IRS, however the department that oversees those documents is shutdown.

U.S. citizens will also still need to pay their taxes this year despite the shutdown. As a result of the shutdown, the IRS is short on staff. This will lead to longer waits and people are expecting their tax refunds to be late. The IRS has issued an order to have employees work without pay during the tax filing season starting Jan. 28.

Those who rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will be receiving their food stamps early, around February. The downside is recipients will have to budget what they receive, as there’s no clear indication when recipients will receive their next set of stamps.

Many national parks have been closed due to shortage of staff, human waste flooding the area and even vandalism. The National Parks Service website does list all the closures and conditions of national parks, but even their website is not up to date because of the shutdown.

For those who are expecting to take a flight, there is a possibility of waiting in longer lines to enter TSA security checkpoints. Many airports are short on staff because TSA staff are expected to work without pay. While some are promised to receive bonus pay during the government shutdown, many TSA staff are calling in sick.

Many people from the government have been opposed to the shutdown. Even some Republican members have voiced their concerns. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee) have called for a temporary reopening of the government to open negotiations for the wall. It’s surprising, especially from Lindsey Graham, who has been loyal to Trump’s decisions.

Trump has already signed a bill into law to ensure that government workers who worked on days during the government shutdown are paid for their work. While this is a good thing for those who are working without pay, they still won’t receive pay until after the shutdown ends.

The only way for a solution to be reached is for negotiations between Donald Trump and the Democratic house, but from what happened on the Jan. 15 and Trump’s offer being rejected, it looks like there isn’t a sight for resolving citizen’s woes. It’s time for Trump to get off his high horse and open the government. He was put into office to help protect and lead the country, but with his actions he is holding the entire country hostage to get what he wants.

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