As we slept, the federal government was shut down due to long-term budget deal. This was the second time in three weeks that a government shutdown has taken place.
The reason behind this shutdown is related to the shutdown that took place in January. Congress had agreed to keep the government running for a couple of week, but it was a short-term deal. On Friday, at 12:01 a.m., the government ran out of funding which led to this recent shutdown.
So, what is this deal that has slowed down Congress to a point of not working?
Well, it is a bipartisan budget deal that is supposed to increase budget caps so that the government can spend $300 billion more on defense and domestic programs over the next two years. Republicans like this deal because they get an increase on military expenditures. Some Democrats like this because of the increase in spending on domestic programs that would help disaster relief efforts and health care. However, other Democrats oppose this deal because it does help the DREAMers or undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.
Since President Trump had terminated the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Democrats have been trying to create legislation that will protect the DREAMers from deportation.
Earlier on in the week- on Wednesday- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, took the House floor for eight hours in protest of this budget deal. Pelosi and other Democrats believe that the budget for the next two years should include pathways to citizenship for DREAMers.
There are many aspects to this government shutdown that make this situation a very confusing one. Since Friday, Congress has voted to reopen the government and shortly after, President Trump signed the budget deal, which he enthusiastically tweeted about.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has agreed to have open immigration debate next week. From what it looks like, next week will determine the status of millions of people.