Government Shutdown: Why it Happened and What’s to Come

Government Shutdown: Why it Happened and What's to Come
Government Shutdown: Why it Happened and What's to Come

A contentious three-day U.S. Government shutdown has finally ended after President Trump and Democrats came to an agreement to sign the new spending bill into power. The bill temporarily funds the government, allowing activity until at least February 8, when a new bill must be signed in to prevent yet another shutdown.

Key Facts

• At the core of the shutdown was a long-standing bone of contention between Democrats and Republicans – DACA and immigration. Democrats and Republicans significantly disagree in this area, with Democrats advocating for a gentler hand and Republicans advocating for stricter immigration laws.
• Democratic leaders have been fighting for months to enact protections for the nearly 700,000 people that live in the United States under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Trump’s administration has largely advocated to remove the program entirely. If enacted, such a move could result in deportation for DREAMer children present in the U.S. since early childhood or infancy.
• Democrats caused the shutdown by refusing to sign the new spending bill unless the Trump administration agreed to enact their proposed DACA. Such a move is meant to force the government’s hand; like a filibuster, it is a last-ditch effort to create change when bipartisan debates fail.
• When Democrats refused to sign the bill, it essentially halted funding for the government as a whole. Thus, non-essential services were forced to shut down, at least temporarily, until a resolution could be reached.
• The new spending bill is temporary in nature; it lasts only until February 8. It restores government services while giving both sides time to debate the topics of contention, including protections for DREAMers. Republicans are reluctantly agreeing to negotiate proposed protections, but it remains to be seen what will come out of these debates.
• At least one Republican leader, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, claimed that he would raise a new immigration bill altogether if both parties couldn’t come to a resolution. The contents of such a bill remain unknown, but the Republican party takes a historically hard-nosed approach to immigration in general.
• People on both sides are calling the Democrat’s attempts an abject failure that did little more than waste time for everyone involved. Leaders, on the other hand, are asking for patience while they attempt to work out future steps.
• Although the government shutdown has ended, the new spending bill is temporary in nature at best. It is entirely possible that February 8 will arrive with little to no change in immigration protocols for the DACA program. If that happens, Democrats could refuse to sign the next spending bill, causing a second shutdown only weeks after the first occurred.

SPECIAL: Congress Not Needed For Trump Dollar Reboot
How did the government shutdown affect you? Do you plan to prepare for another one?