— Shelby Gardner

This gridlock in Washington trickles all the way down to our own campus. Many students that are planning their study abroad trips for the summer might not be able to meet all of the requirements, like proof of a passport, before their deadlines.

This shutdown will prevent American students from getting once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to further their education abroad.

800,000 federal employees are without work right now because of the government shutdown. This includes government employees who distribute passports, national parks staff and food inspectors.

President Donald Trump and Congress created the longest government shutdown in US history.

Trump tweeted, “We have a massive Humanitarian Crisis at our Southern Border. We will be out for a long time unless the Democrats come back from their ‘vacations’ and get back to work. I am in the White House ready to sign!”

This means that until everyone in Congress agrees to fund a barrier along the southern border, the shutdown will continue.

The estimated cost of building the Wall is nearly 50 billion dollars, and 150 million per year in maintenance, according to the Democratic staff committee. Trump is demanding only five billion dollars. MSNBC suggests that this could be a campaign strategy– the wall will start construction during Trump’s first term, and he will be re-elected for a second term so that the project can be finished.

Did you plan on visiting one of the fifty-eight national parks over spring break? If so, you might want to reconsider. The national -parks are open, but the shutdown is causing long-term damage. Maintenance is not there to deal with the messes people are creating. The overflow of trash and latrines have caused serious damage to wildlife habitats.

In addition, three people disappeared due to accidents, four people committed suicide in national parks and a fourteen-year-old girl fell from an overlook in an Arizona national park. National Park workers were not there to help authorities with these tragedies.

The last effect of the government shutdown that directly affects everybody is the pause on food inspections by the Food and Drug Administration. Since people died from the recent romaine lettuce scare the halt on food inspections is certainly a concern.

There have been reports that some of the staff will be returning to work this week to inspect high-risk foods, like cheese, other dairy products and fresh produce. However, nobody will inspect low-risk foods like baked goods.

There is a clear issue with the government shutdown; the government is prioritizing border security over education, nature and the safety of Americans.

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