What Teens Should Know About the Government Shutdown

With the recent government shutdown and one beginning again on February 15th, it’s important for teens to know how and why government shutdowns happen. Here are some quick things you should know about the government and the shutdown in 2019:

  • The first government shutdown the United States faced was in 1980 under the Carter administration.
  • Shutdowns happen when a funding gap occurs, causing a full and or partial hiatus to government operations.
  • The latest government shutdown, which lasted from Dec. 22 to Jan. 25 (35 days), was the longest government shutdown in history surpassing the 21-day shutdown of 1995-96.
  • The recent shutdown is the second shutdown during the Trump administration.
  • The current House and Senate are controlled by opposing parties, with Democrats in control in the House and the Republican majority in the Senate. Because of this, polarization occurs, which lead to gridlock between each part of the government on certain issues from the past shutdown.
  • Dispute and disagreement over a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico have continued despite the shutdown being over.
  • On the night of Feb. 5, Trump delivered his second State of the Union Address after it was pushed back due to safety concerns acknowledged by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. As stated on whitehouse.gov, “‘Choosing Greatness.’ When our leaders in Washington put citizens first and their careers second—when they choose a spirit of compromise over the politics of retribution—there is no limit to what America can achieve.”
  • Women who were elected into their government positions wore white in honor of the Suffragette movement, as women elected into the House hit a record number this past mid-term election.
  • Stacey Abrams, former Georgia Senate candidate, delivered the Democratic response to the State of the Union Address and became the first black woman in history to do so. The State of the Union recognized women’s achievements in Congress and the government overall.
  • The shutdown is set to begin again on Feb. 15th if there continues to be disagreement between the parties in power.

One thought on “What Teens Should Know About the Government Shutdown

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