Government Shutdown vs. Border Wall

Trump hurts the working Americans he promised to protect

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Government Shutdown vs. Border Wall

LHS Social Studies teacher, Graham Roan, speaks out about the government shutdown.

LHS Social Studies teacher, Graham Roan, speaks out about the government shutdown.

David Fisher, Photography Editor

LHS Social Studies teacher, Graham Roan, speaks out about the government shutdown.

David Fisher, Photography Editor

David Fisher, Photography Editor

LHS Social Studies teacher, Graham Roan, speaks out about the government shutdown.

Alexis Owens, Editor in chief

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In the midst of the longest government shutdown in American history, President Donald Trump used his first national address from the Oval Office to ask Americans to pressure congress to fund a five billion dollar wall at the U.S. – Mexico border or face a continued government shutdown.  Eye of the Gale believes that it was unethical of President Trump to shut down the federal government and penalize American federal workers in an effort to coerce Congress to give into his demand.

Marrying the issues of the border wall and the government shutdown is like comparing apples to orangutans. Moreover, the Presidents used the threat of a never-ending government shutdown as leverage to force congress to fund a border wall.  In essence, he actually hurt the very citizens President Trump vowed to serve and protect.

“I understand President Trump’s request for enhanced border security, but I feel his request is misguided,” said Graham Roan, a Social Studies teacher at Lancaster High School.

Roan went on to say that the shutdown affected more than 800,000 innocent American employees who were expected to work without pay. The shutdown also limited or totally froze government services intended to support Americans who are most needy .

According to NPR, “Nine federal departments (and some smaller agencies like NASA) are affected, at least in part, by the lapse in funding: Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, State, Transportation and the Treasury.” This means that airport security, food safety, food stamps, and mortgage applications, for example, are either on hold or functioning on a limited basis. Even President Trump’s own Secret Service agents, who put their lives on the line, were expected to work without pay.

 

Photo courtesy Google Images
Speaker of the House, Pelosie and Senate Minority Leader, Schumer respond to President Trump’s speech.

Although Democrats have staunchly fought against the President’s demand for a border wall, they have requested an end to the government shutdown.

“President Trump must stop holding the American people hostage, must stop manufacturing a crisis, and must re-open the government,” said Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, following President Trump’s address to the nation on January 8, 2019.

Eye of the Gale recognizes that the stalemate between Congress and the president was based on serious issues that affect border security, but penalizing innocent Americans was immoral and unethical.

In his speech, President Trump said the border wall issue is “a choice between right and wrong, justice and injustice. This is about whether we fulfill our sacred duty to the American citizens we serve.”

Eye of the Gale says the president must live up to these words in regards to further government shutdowns and protect the people he was elected to serve.