With the government shutdown just days away, negotiations between the two sides of the Capitol remain stalled and no agreement is within reach, putting the livelihoods of thousands of Americans in the balance. Despite weeks of debate, no resolution is in sight.
At the center of this dispute are President Trump’s demands for nearly $5 billion in funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Democrats in Congress have been steadfastly opposed to the idea, arguing that a border wall is ineffective and too costly. As a result, the president has thus far refused to signature a bipartisan budget bill that does not include border wall funding.
In the event of a government shutdown, all non-essential federal services and hundreds of thousands of government workers would be furloughed or, in some cases, require to work without pay. This could have a tremendous impact on vulnerable communities, as programs that support those populations like SNAP, WIC, and housing assistance may all be impacted. In addition, many of the everyday services that Americans rely on, such as mail delivery, visa processing, and social security would be delayed or suspended.
Although both sides of the aisle have expressed a desire to avoid a government shutdown, with Congress scheduled to adjourn on Dec. 21, time is running out. Congress is expected to pass a stopgap measure to prevent a shutdown in advance of the deadline, however, no agreement has been reached as of yet and the future of the budget remains overwhelmingly uncertain.
If they are unable to reach a resolution, millions of Americans could be forced to confront some very tough decisions later this week.