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Young Democrat & Young Republican Perspectives on the Government Shutdown

BHSN Young Democrat Melina Raglin and Young Republican Abby Allen weigh in on the issue of the government shutdown

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As the United States government shutdown surpasses a month, it continues to grow as the longest shutdown in American history. On December 22nd, President Trump issued the government shutdown in response to disputes between Democrats and the Trump administration regarding border security. President Trump has demanded five billion dollars of the budget to be allotted towards his infamous border wall, which a great deal of his presidential campaign was run on. He wishes to use this money to construct a wall spanning across the Southern border of the United States in order to keep out all illegal migrants from Mexico or South America. In late December House Republicans passed a bill including the $5 billion for the wall but Democrats in the Senate refuse to pass the bill. As time drags on under the shutdown, Democrats and Republicans continue to point fingers at who must act to bring the solution. In the meantime, 800,000 American government workers and their families are onto their second withheld pay period. Here to weigh in on the situation are Melina Raglin and Abby Allen.

Melina Raglin, a senior at North, is finishing out her final year as a member of the BHSN Young Democrats Club. Upon being asked her initial thoughts of the shutdown she explains that her thoughts mainly consist of frustration.

Melina Raglin, a senior and member of BHSN Young Democrats. Photo: Melina Raglin

“I understand the relevance of government shutdowns, as the budget is always difficult to agree on, but the intensity of the stalemate between congress and our president has me feeling hopeless, especially due to the issue at focus, the wall,” she said. “The entire shutdown has created a negative light on immigration, and it scares me to think that Trump may attempt to use an executive order to ensure his “promise” to voters about the wall.”

However, she also acknowledges the fact that an immediate solution may be difficult to find anytime soon.

“My best case scenario would be for Trump to admit to a budget that doesn’t include funding for the wall. The excess of money could be spent on so many other important areas of funding that our country needs,” she said. “Again, while this isn’t ideal, I think I try to stray away from completely ignoring any compromise, which I think is what a lot of people want, because it’s easy to get frustrated about this terrible situation. But, for our country to come out of this shutdown, something needs to change, and political parties separating farther away from each other will only encourage the stalemate more.”

BHSN Young Republican president Abby Allen shares very similar sentiments as Raglin on the issue.


Abby Allen, a senior and president of BHSN Young Republicans.
Photo: Abby Allen

“I understand that shutdowns happen in the government and while they can be effective sometimes, I really do feel that this one is uncalled for,” she said. “The thing that really saddens me about the shutdown, though, is all of the government workers that are affected by it.  Seeing these people either being without work and without pay for this long of a time or seeing government workers working without pay saddens me, especially for the many employees that live paycheck to paycheck trying to provide for their families. I am grateful to those workers that have continued to work without pay for the good of the country, particularly the air traffic controllers and TSA agents that allow safe travel to continue throughout the US. I really wish that our government officials could agree to disagree for now and pause the debate about the wall, just so these workers could get back to working so they have means to provide for their families.

For Allen, however, the issue regarding the lack of pay for American government workers has even reached her own family.

“I have friends that have parents currently out of or have limited work, which has put a damper on their typical lives, she said.

“My uncle is an engineer that works on government planes and Air Force planes, so he is currently working without pay.  This has been difficult for their family, making my aunt and cousin pick up extra shifts at their jobs to try to cover the costs of living.”

However, despite other political ideological differences that she might have with Raglin, both students agree on the needs for compromise in this situation.

“At this point I believe that our politicians just need to try to reach some sort of compromise. The wall, if something is going to be agreed on, is going to take forever to build, so why don’t we reach a compromise focusing on helping immigrants become citizens rather than building a wall that can be avoided while trying to cross the border,” Allen said. “The thought of fellow American citizens being out of work and struggling to provide for themselves and their families is terrible, so I would like to believe that a majority of Americans want this shutdown to end.  Though my views on the wall may vary from others’ views, I would like to imagine that we can all agree that the wall can wait; We need to take care of our American citizens, because if America does not function properly, how are we supposed to aid others?”

As the longest government shutdown in American history drags on, it has become easy to see that Raglin and Allen are a few of the many Americans who feel frustration regarding the issue. Regarding their hopes of a solution, only time will tell if compromise or even common ground will be attainable.

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The Student News Site of Bloomington High School North
Young Democrat & Young Republican Perspectives on the Government Shutdown