The longest government shutdown in United States history, which furloughed over 800,000 federal workers, finally came to an end Friday, when a temporary deal was reached to reopen the government for three weeks. The deal did not include funding for President Trump’s proposal for a border wall.
Lasting well over a month, the shutdown barely stood the test of time. Although there was a great anger over federal workers not receiving their paychecks, the operation of the government itself was not greatly impacted. This was large in part because a partial government shutdown still keeps 75% of the United States government open, and furloughs non-essential personnel. Simply put, National Parks and monuments were shutdown, but the military remained active.
But issues started to truly arise at America’s airports. The Transportation Security Administration, or TSA, had a nationwide sickout over the past few weeks, causing terminals to occasionally close due to lack of workers. This came to a breaking point just the morning before the shutdown ended, when major delays were taking place at LaGuardia, Newark, and Philadelphia airports. The lack of agents posed a security threats, with thousands of people arriving and departing through these airports. Even though the final budget deal was being discussed as these major airport delays were occurring, it proves how long the government can stay closed before things truly go awry.
As Trump gave his speech endorsing the bill to end the shutdown, social media was trending with the term “Trump caved” for not taking funding for the wall. Depending upon your point of view, he may have sold out for not seeking border wall funding as part of the budget, but it was for the best. Federal workers needed to get their paychecks, and border wall discussions needed to take place without using government services as bargaining chips. Even as a libertarian who does not like unnecessary government spending, all the money for maintenance of National Parks, back pay, and everything else that went unnoticed during the shutdown that will just increase the national debt even more.