Government shutdown: Bad bargaining tool


If you keep up with the news regularly or even just slightly, it is almost impossible to not know about the most recent government shutdown that began in late December of 2018.

This specific shutdown which has now become the largest in U.S. history, has been highly criticized by several politicians and citizens alike due to the number of repercussions that have begun to have a profoundly negative effect on federally-run services. Some of these services include no paychecks for federal employees and maintenance for national parks.

Due to these factors, it has become obvious now that the people of the U.S. just want the shutdown to come to an end and most are asking the question: Why is it still ongoing? The answer is obvious. President Trump is using the shutdown as a political bargaining tool.

From the beginning of Trump’s presidential bid in 2015 to his tumultuous first two years in the Oval Office, the president has, time and time again, promised a border wall between Mexico and the U.S. in order to deter illegal immigrants.

At the end of 2018, Trump finally acted on this promise and asked the House to provide a budget for the government that would allot $5.7 billion in funding for his proposed wall.

Now that the Democrats have taken control of the House following the 2018 midterms, things did not go as planned and the funding was not included in their budget.

Since that proposed budget has hit Trump’s desk, he has continually vetoed every effort the House has made to revise the budget, effectively shutting down the government. Trump will stop at nothing to get funding for his wall obviously at the detriment to the U.S. government and it looks as though he is using the situation as a bargaining tool with Democrats who are not budging on their stance.

Here is why this strategy is problematic.

First, the majority of Americans do not agree with the president that a wall is necessarily the answer. According to polls from major research groups including Pew and Gallup, a majority of Americans are completely opposed to the wall even being built and have trouble seeing how effective it will be. Despite the glaring numbers and research poured into the issue, Trump continues to neglect the data before him.

Second, the standoff between the president and Democrats is hurting the country. As mentioned previously, many federally funded employees and departments are not working or running currently. Many of these employees cannot last much longer and soon must seek some form of help to provide for their families. Not to mention, our nation’s beautiful parks being trashed and looted by irreverent citizens.

Just last week, several of the iconic Joshua Trees from Colorado’s Joshua Tree National Park were chopped down by trespassers. Soon, things like the government’s Food Stamps program will be unable to run if the shutdown continues.

Eventually, someone is going to have to give in and provide a solution for the shutdown. One solution would require the Democrats to give in to Trump’s demands and pass a budget allotting funds for Trump’s wall which would satisfy Trump and reopen the government.

The second solution would require Trump to concede to the House’s vote on the new budget and abstain from vetoing the next proposal.

Despite the repercussions of a partly-closed government and the majority of the House representing the people of the U.S. not agreeing with his wall plan, it does not look like Trump will be giving in any time soon. I think this says a lot about    his character.

As one can see, the polls and ghastly repercussions of the shutdown say everything, yet the president continues to be non-negotiable.

Trump’s usage of the government shutdown for bargaining is not worth it and will soon begin to hurt not only his public approval, but his chance at the presidency in next year’s race. As the president continues to veto the budget when he does not get his way, the American people become less understanding and Trump just drives another wedge into his political coffin.