Government Shutdown Results in Catastrophic Turmoil



The White House was closed and Congress shut down during the recent political turmoil in Washington.

Sarah Silbiger
A maintenance worker outside the Capitol.

The U.S. Government shutdown started on December 22, 2018. The thirty-five day shutdown has been recorded as the longest shutdown in Congress since 1955, which then lasted 27 days.
It all began with Trump’s request to fund his $5 Billion wall at the Mexican-American border, which was one of his promises during the 2016 campaign season. When Congress refused to give in to his wishes, Trump then halted any proceedings or progress in Congress, thus, creating the shutdown.

The results of the shutdown not only affected the people at the Capitol, but also employees who worked for any government agency were further impacted. More than 800,000 federal government workers have been furloughed or were forced to work without pay.

Mark Wilson
Nancy Pelosi, Mike Pence, Donald Trump and Chuck Schumer at the Oval Office

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers, who supervise airport security, called in sick or quit as the shutdown continued. Flight traffic controllers were working long shifts to manage the low staff numbers in order to handle over 43,000 daily flights.

Many national parks were closed to visitors, while some remained open with limited staffing–thanks to help from other states. The Joshua Tree National Park remained open after the shutdown, but then suffered temporary closings and struggled to keep up with the toll visitors. Several parks had volunteers step in to help with the cleanup.

Over 800,000 employees worked without a paycheck for three months–many were forced to work by law or contract.

Seth Wenig
Security checkpoint at Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, N.J.,

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi wrote a letter to the President to address the issues that arose during the shutdown. The annual Senate address was also delayed due to the disbandment and conflict between Trump and Pelosi.

Vox, an American news and political opinion website, stated that, “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is still resolute that there will be no funding for a wall in a bipartisan border security funding package currently being negotiated between Republican and Democratic lawmakers in a conference committee tasked with finding a border security deal by February 15.”

The shutdown officially ended January 25, 2019, marking it at 35 days. Many official and political leaders, however, awaited for another shutdown to occur. Trump took action and declared a national emergency in order to fund his wall.