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EE Explains: What caused the government to shutdown?

The+Government+was+shut+down+for+35+days%2C+making+it+the+longest+in+U.S.+history.+
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EE Explains: What caused the government to shutdown?

The Government was shut down for 35 days, making it the longest in U.S. history.

The Government was shut down for 35 days, making it the longest in U.S. history.

Photo illustration by Victoria Navarro, photo by Michael Judkins and icon from Flaticon

The Government was shut down for 35 days, making it the longest in U.S. history.

Photo illustration by Victoria Navarro, photo by Michael Judkins and icon from Flaticon

Photo illustration by Victoria Navarro, photo by Michael Judkins and icon from Flaticon

The Government was shut down for 35 days, making it the longest in U.S. history.

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During the winter school break and the first weeks of January, the news headlines were dominated by the federal government shutdown that seemed to go on forever.

For many teenagers, the idea that the government could shut down is a strange concept and hard to understand why it happened at all. It was an especially worrisome event for Akins students who have parents who either work for or rely on the government to receive a paycheck so they could pay their bills. Federal employees missed two paychecks during the 35-day partial government shutdown.

Mylo Bissell

In Austin, there are many federal employees who work for the Internal Revenue Service and the Transportation Security Administration. Many of them had to rely on the Central Texas Food Bank for their groceries so they could save money for other important bills.

Although a deal was reached on Jan. 25 to open the government for three weeks, allowing federal workers to get paid, again, it was only a temporary solution. The federal government could go into shutdown again on Feb. 15 if Trump once again refuses to sign funding bills that do not include the amount of border wall money he is demanding.

When the shutdown started, many people went unpaid. 420,000 people who worked for the FBI, Customs and Border Protection agents and TSA airport security. And 380,000 other employees such as national park rangers have to take a temporary leave, and sites like NASA and Fort Hood do not have any civilian workers on the job. A total of 800,000 were not being paid and workers were starting to panic due to not having enough food or money to feed their family and kids. Food stamps were also about to become unavailable.

The Shutdown Around Town

Paul Gaither, director of marketing and communications for the Central Texas Food Bank provided an update on how area food providers were affected.

“Food banks began giving out food to federal workers with the help of people worldwide sending food, water, and money for them to buy more food with and even a restaurant helped by making and giving food out to people in need,” he said.

The shutdown lasted from, Dec 22, 2018 to Jan 25, 2019 and people who weren’t working went back on the 31st of January. However, the workers were only guaranteed three weeks of pay.  Workers were paid again on Thursday and will stay open until the 15th unless something happens.

“The food banks had helped 851 households comprising of more than 2,800 people on January 16,” he said.

The food banks also did a special mobile pantry food distribution at the Veterans Administration facility in Temple on January 24, providing assistance to 327 households that comprised 953 people. The food bank did one more distribution on Jan. 30, which served 376 households comprising 1,278 individuals.

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