Government shutdown impacts federal workers across the country

According to Time Magazine, around 800,000 federal workers were forced to work without pay during the longest government shutdown in history.

The shutdown began Dec. 22 when President Donald Trump and Congress did not come to an agreement on $5.7 billion for the border wall.

“Democrats and Republicans are becoming more divided,” current events teacher Rick Hess said. “The president of the United States is trying to change too much too fast,” Hess said.

The shutdown affected national parks, science labs, law enforcement, food inspectors and much more.

“You’ve got federal employees that do the screenings at airports,” Hess said. “The list goes on.”

Two bills to end the government shutdown have failed to pass the Senate Jan. 24 because they did not reach the required 60 votes. Instead, the first bill for the border wall only reached a 50-47 vote. The second bill, which would fund the government until Feb. 8, had a vote of 52-44.

“The shutdown was completely avoidable in my opinion,” Hess said. “Congress is becoming less and less willing to compromise.”

According to superintendent John Black, the government shutdown does not have any effect on the school.

Public education is mainly governed by the state and not the federal government,” Black said. “According to my source at KSDE [Kansas State Department of Education], there are sufficient federal funds ‘to go at least through April.’[over a period of three years]”


Kellee Roberts’ sister Kim Evans, who is an International Revenue System (IRS) worker, was not able to work since the shutdown and missed her second paycheck.

“I feel like I’m being held hostage,” Evans said. “Not being able to work makes me feel worthless.”

Evans has been able to borrow money from family and friends, unlike some federal workers who are struggling to support themselves.

“I know people are desperate trying to find ways to make money,” Evans said. “I’ve borrowed money from Kellee [Roberts] and my grandmother.”

President Donald Trump announced Jan. 26 that he has reached a deal to end the shutdown for three weeks until Feb. 15. If Democrats and Republicans can not reach an agreement, Trump threatens to shut down the government again or call for a national emergency.

“It’s very frustrating,” Evans said. “We’re a game piece in the mass of somebodies game.”