The first government shutdown in almost two centuries plastered every news channel, newspaper header, and Facebook status alike . Among my peers, our first instinct was to panic and questions spurred vigorously: “Will I still get food stamps? Does that mean school is canceled tomorrow? Do I still have to pay my student loans?” Almost without hesitation, there was an invisible levee pouring us into the whirlwind of social media and outwardly voiced their opinions with little to no research on the topic. On the other hand lied myself outstretched and researching what exactly a thing like this means. Theoretically, the government is designed to control, protect, and standardize the rights and laws for all of its citizens. So what the hell did they mean they’re shutdown? Did I not vote for Barack Obama’s second term exactly a month and three days after turning eighteen? Were we abandoning ObamaCare? Did everyone just say, “We quit.”?
In my research, I found that the government shut down twice between November 1995 and January 1996 because of a similar dispute between then-President Bill Clinton of the Democratic Party and his Republican House and Speaker of the House, Gingrich. Now almost two decades later, we have a split decision that boils down to whether or not we should approve a government funded healthcare plan. Obamacarefacts.com lists a number of facts regarding the plan, and after weighing the pros and cons of the program I would personally support it. However, in the 2012 reelection of President Barack Obama we saw the appointment of two battling parties that would be forced to coexist and agree on the means for which us as citizens would live for the next four years- to this day, I preside on neither body. Now, less than a year after news headers across the nation plastered Obama’s face in every medium and while the newspaper articles still lie in my nightstand, we are witnessing a shutdown.
When a government shuts down, we are talking about the fate of many people’s jobs, homes, and daily living expenses being cut. While essential employees of the government are still paid, those who are not have been furloughed, or temporarily laid off. For students like my sister who are working interim- or internship- positions for the government, today was her first day off of work in almost three months. If the shutdown continues, an economist reported to CNN that it could “cost the economy about $55 billion”. (CNN.com) My proposed question for the Republican-lead House would be how much they’re considering the citizens versus themselves. As a governing body for billions of people, what are they saying to everyone if you don’t want the government to provide 15% of those people without healthcare with a means to live. For the South, we cannot afford to continue support the Republican Party any longer as they have made it clear that our impoverished neighborhoods and poor economy are less important than their status compared to Senate. We must consider one things: for everything we cannot afford, someone in the House can.