The government shutdown started on December 22, 2018, and lasted a total of 35 days. During these 35 days, government employees were forced to stop working and go without pay or to go to work without pay. This was because the Democrats and the Republicans didn’t agree on funding for the government’s proposed border wall.
Riverside librarian Kate Mester was closely impacted by the shutdown. Mester’s wife works for the Environmental Protection Agency and was forced to stop working.
“It is without pay, and most of the time Congress votes to give back pay, but it’s never 100% guaranteed,” says Mester.
The democrats are demanding for all of the back pay to be returned to the employees who have been affected by the shutdown.
Thankfully Mester had enough savings that the shutdown didn’t impact her as much. For many families that was not the case. Some families created GoFundMe pages to help pay for bills.
Trump wanted another government shutdown but instead he’s declaring a national emergency. This would be the first time a national emergency is declared and Congress doesn’t agree with it.