Gone Fishing: U.S. Government Shuts Down in Light of Political Impasse

City+councilman+and+former+mayor%2C+Mike+Morgan%2C+spoke+to+Cam+High+students+about+the+importance+of+Camarillo%27s+government.

Photo By: James Schaap

City councilman and former mayor, Mike Morgan, spoke to Cam High students about the importance of Camarillo’s government.

A government shutdown left thousands of federal workers empty handed on October 1.

The shutdown is due to disagreements between the House and Senate over the issues of the Affordable Care Act and the nation’s debt ceiling. The House has passed a number of resolutions attempting to keep the various portions of the government open but the senate has blocked them. Many government agencies, from the Department of Homeland Security to the Federal Trade Commission, were partially or completely closed, sending roughly 800,000 government workers home without paychecks. Hundreds of national parks were also closed.

Some of the hardest-hit agencies include the Environmental Protection Agency, which sent back 94% of its 16,200 workers, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which sent back 95% of its 8,700 workers.

“I’m not sure how the shutdown is supposed to help us,” said Thomas Sanchez, junior.

This government shutdown is number 18 since 1977, the first one in over 17 years. In 1995, over 400 museums and national parks were closed, turning away 7 million visitors, lasting 21 days and costing the economy over 1 billion dollars per week.

“A parent told me, if the IRS even turns on their laptops, they will get in trouble with the government. It is affecting our families,” said Dr. Kim Stephenson, Cam High’s associate principal. “I don’t understand how it benefits our country, like shutting down the Federal Park System. Is it to save money? I don’t think keeping people from working benefits our economy.”

The shutdown will end as soon as President Obama signs a spending bill, sent to him by the Congress but it is unknown how long this will take. If the bill is not signed very soon, serious financial repercussions can be expected. A shutdown lasting 3-4 weeks is estimated to cost the economy $55 billion.