What Happens When the Government Shuts Down?

Roosevelt Arch at Yellowstone's North Entrance during government shutdown.
Many national parks were closed due to the recent government shutdown.

If you tried to visit a national park this month, you were probably disappointed. Many national parks were closed. Why? The United States government shut down between December 22, 2018 and January 25, 2019.

The President of the United States and Democrats in Congress could not agree on a bill to fund [pay for] government services. President Donald Trump wanted to spend over $5 billion to build more walls at the southern border of the United States. Many people in Congress did not want to build the wall.

The shutdown affected more than just the national parks. The government furloughed [temporarily stopped having people work or get paid] around 800,000 workers. Important jobs such airport security guards, food inspectors, and Coast Guard members did not have enough people working at them. Additionally, unpaid government workers had trouble paying for their food, housing, and other necessities.

Because of the strain the shutdown caused the nation, both sides agreed to reopen the government for three weeks. They still have not agreed about funding for a wall. They will try to come to an agreement in those three weeks. If they do not, the government may shut down again.

What Do You Think? What do you do when you disagree with someone?

Photo Credit: Jim Peaco/NPS