By THE BLUE AND GRAY PRESS EDITORIAL BOARD
Over the past month, the United States has undergone the longest government shutdown in our nation’s history. The shutdown began when friction between parties arose regarding the funding of President Trump’s border wall. During the shutdown, many federal employees and other government contractors have gone without work and pay for nearly a month. Trash has gone uncollected, food has gone uninspected and national parks have gone unkempt for weeks as government employees waited for the signal to continue working. After weeks without work or pay, many employees were asked to return to their jobs without compensation.
Through the course of the shutdown, employees have had to apply for unemployment benefits or take out loans to keep their families afloat. Although the President has agreed to a three-week spending package to temporarily end the shutdown, many fear the shutdown may continue, as there is no long-term deal in place. As some employees are able to pick up their paychecks at the end of this week, the fear of the shutdown continuing is far greater than the relief of the paycheck.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reported that over the course of the shutdown, the U.S. lost $11 billion dollars, including $3 billion that is unrecoverable. The federal government has failed its most vulnerable citizens and hardworking officials. The staff of the Blue & Gray hopes President Trump will do the right thing and not sacrifice the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Americans in the name of a wall that will not work.