Will There be a Government Shutdown?

Will There be a Government Shutdown?

The question on everybody’s mind in Washington this week is “will there be a government shutdown”?  Both Democrat and Republican senators are prepared to spend the Christmas holidays at the capitol if a partial government shutdown comes to pass.  This past week President Trump along with Vice President Pence faced off against Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer over funding for the border wall where the President declared “I am proud to shut down the government”.  Here is a look at the meeting.

The Wall

The Trump administration is digging in its heels in their demand for $5 billion to fulfill the campaign promise of the President to build a wall along the US and Mexican border.  The Democrats have been firmly in opposition and Trump doesn’t have the votes in Congress to get a funding bill passed.  There is a bipartisan bill where the Democrats have proposed $1.6 billion but that money won’t go towards the wall.  Rather they propose the money go towards upgrades to existing fencing and to help with border security.

The Democrats Say No to the Wall

The Democrats have shown no indication that they are willing to budge on this issue.  Chuck Schumer said it would be up to Trump as to whether the government would shut down leaving thousands of federal employees without their salary over the Christmas holidays.  The partial shutdown would affect federal employees working in several departments including Transportation, Agriculture, State, National Parks, Justice and Homeland Security.  Members from both the Republican and Democratic parties say it will have to be Trump to make a move to resolve the impasse.

Avoiding the Shutdown

The House is on an extended break and will return Wednesday, the Senate will return Monday, but as of Friday night Trump has made no indication as to whether he will accept the current proposal.  Trump is going to need the support of the Democrats in order to pass any spending bill.  With the newly elected crop of Democrats beginning their jobs in the House in early January Trump’s job to get the wall funded won’t get any easier.

Republican Senator John Barasso has said that there is still hope that a government shutdown can be averted and a proposal that works for Trump, the House and the Senate can be reached.  That bill could be a stopgap measure extending funding until after the holidays when a different deal could be worked out.  While the government may avoid a shut down but that will only extend the standoff into the new year.

7 Year Old Dies While in Custody at the Border

Since the Trump administration implemented a zero tolerance policy at the southern border there have been reports of family separation along with tear gas being used on civilians but this past week there was a new tragedy.  A 7 year old girl, originally from Guatemala died last week while in custody after Border Patrol agents took her into custody along with a group of migrants that crossed into the US along a tract of the New Mexico desert.

7 Year Old Dies While in Custody at the Border

Taken into Custody

Around 10pm on December 6th a group of 163 migrants approached Border Patrol agents to turn themselves in.  The group included the 7 year old girl and her father it was eight hours later that the young girl began having seizures according to CBP.  Emergency responders arrived shortly after and the girl was already spiking a fever of 105.7.  It was reported that they young girl had not eaten nor had anything to for several days.  The child was reported to be in shock.

The 7 year old was flown by helicopter to El Paso and Providence Children’s Hospital where she went into cardiac arrest.  The agency reported that the child was able to be revived by medical staff onsite however she was never able to recover and unfortunately she passed away less than 24 hours later.  The girl’s father remains in El Paso waiting to speak with someone from the Guatemalan embassy.

Scrutiny at the Border

While the activities at the border have been under scrutiny since the first reports of the separation of families came to the media attention.  With the death of this little girl the scrutiny of the conditions asylum seekers face at the border is bound to intensify.  That being said the facilities at the southern border are overwhelmed by the larger numbers of families looking for asylum.

Food and water are normally provided to those that end up in the custody of the Border Patrol, however it was never made clear if this young girl received food, water or any medical care before the seizures began.

Reaching the Border

There has been no shortage of attention focused on the caravan arriving at the border, with large numbers of South Americans still arriving in New Mexico, Arizona and Texas.  Some of these people had to walk long distances through very remote areas with little or no food and water before they reach the US.  With an uncertain future migrants are left with few choices, they can seek asylum in Mexico, return back to their country of origin or cross illegally.  Meanwhile the ACLU is calling for an investigation into the girl’s death.

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