**Editor’s note: Article updated on January 19th
It is currently the 19th day of the 2019 government shutdown, the longest in history. Previously, the longest government shutdown was the 1995-1996 government shutdown. It also happens to be the third shutdown since President Trump took office. The main premise behind this shutdown is President Trump’s funding to build a southern border wall to combat illegal immigration and the conflicting lack of support from Congress to support the plan.
In general, a government shutdown happens when Congress can no longer pass bills for the approval of how the government spends its money. With no approved plan on how to spend this money, the government has no choice but to start shutting down. This means that the government agencies that don’t have approved funding have to stop providing services for a short period of time. This means that they may have to force employees to work without pay, which results in many not showing up for work.
For this specific shutdown, 25% of the federal government funding has expired. There have currently been no changes made. President Trump wants $5 billion dollars for the border wall and it has split Congress; in general, Democrats do not support the funding requests and Republicans support the wall and the funding. Congress is currently stuck in a deadlock; Democrats refuse to negotiate border security or a border wall until the government is reopened by the President, but the President will not reopen the government until there is a border wall in the works.
According the the Washington Post and other various news sources, President Trump has made comments that he may redirect military funding so that it goes towards the wall by declaring a national emergency. With this shutdown being almost a month long, how will it end and how long will it last? The answer is murky as it lies in the hands of our leaders.