Bahr: The shutdown was reasonable


Max Goldberg/Iowa State Daily

President-elect Donald Trump walks out to the stage during a rally as part of his USA Thank You Tour, in Des Moines during the evening of Dec. 8. Trump spoke about the general election, how he would repeal Obamacare, bring jobs back to the US, and reform care for veterans. 

Connor Bahr

As of writing this, the government had been shutdown for a total of 35 days, the longest government shutdown since 1995 to 1996 when then-president Bill Clinton shutdown the government for 21 days over a budget dispute.

Many people around the country have been asking themselves: Did President Donald Trump abuse his power to attempt to get what he wants, which is a $5.7 billion to begin construction on a border wall between America and Mexico? Was Trump justified in his action and at the end of the 21 days, and who should concede?

On the one hand, this is not uncommon practice for presidents. For example, Jimmy Carter shutdown the government five times during the span of 1977-79 and Ronald Reagan shut down the government eight times during his presidency.

It’s completely reasonable for the president to shut down the government due to a disagreement between Congress and himself because, as POTUS, the will of the president is the will of the people.

What he fights for should represent what the majority of Americans desire, and therefore is perfectly justified in doing whatever it takes to get his way.

On the other hand, the shutdown undoubtedly had a negative effect on America as a whole, especially as it prolonged.

For federal workers, the negative effects manifest in furloughs, which impacted 800,000 workers.

If the workers are considered necessary, such as the Secret Service, the TSA and the Department of Homeland Security, they work without pay throughout the duration of the shutdown.

They then get paid retroactively when the shutdown is resolved. National parks are at great risk of vandalism, illegal camping and damage to park resources with most of the staff being furloughed. On the national scale, the U.S. lost $11 billion dollars.

President Trump had every right and reason to shut down the government and is not abusing his power, simply exploiting a political loophole. From the facts, however, it is clear the partial government shutdown harmed federal workers and the nation.

Trump had stated that he will not reopen the government simply to discuss border wall funding.

“I’m not interested,” Trump said in response to Lindsey Graham. “I want to get it solved, I don’t want to just delay it. I want to get it solved.”

From this, we can infer that when the temporary opening ends, he will be expecting his money. The Democrats in the house were also not budging when it came to funding the border wall. This stalemate is only going to end one way, someone is going to have to have to give in. I believe the party to cave should be Congress.

Trump sees illegal immigration as a crisis and, according to a poll conducted by Quinnipiac University, 54 percent of voters would agree with Trump, meaning that it should not only be Trump’s right, but his duty, to do whatever it takes to attempt a solution to the problem.