Politicians:‘stop using us as pawns’

If you have been keeping up with the news, you would know that recently the government was forced to shut down. The government was shutdown because Congress was unable to pass a budget resolution that would fund the government before the old budget expired.

According to an article on Time.com, some federally -funded locations also shut down. This impacted those who are employed in such locations. These employees were told not to go into work. Some were also told to work, but that they would not be paid until the government  shutdown ended.

The shutdown ended on Monday, Jan. 22, though we could face another government shutdown on Thursday, Feb. 8 if our government does not reach an agreement. The government shutdown is bad not only for those who work within the government, but also for everyone else in the United States.

My brother was impacted by this situation. My family has been through many government shutdowns where both my brothers had to wait to get paid until they ended. I have witnessed the frustration that comes with these situations. They wonder how long it is going to take and how long they will be punished over something that is not their fault. They represent the emotions many other families across the country feel.

Why does this still happen in our country? Simply because none of the politicians can come to an agreement over important issues. They’ve exhausted their list of things they can possibly do to avoid a government shutdown.

According to Newsweek.com, a government shutdown can cost about $6 billion per week. This hurts our economy more than when it is kept open.

Our soldiers are also affected. Those who are overseas serving our country were only set to be paid through a certain amount of time and if the shut down had lasted longer they would not be paid. Most of all, it impacted the DREAMers, who were once again filled with hope.

According to an article on the Washington Post, Congress cannot come to an agreement on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), “which provides legal status to young undocumented immigrants known as “DREAMers.”’

As soon as things became difficult for the Democrats, DREAMers were tossed to the back. Hopefully, politicians can get a clean Dream Act and stop using Dreamers as bait during their campaigns.

Herbert Gooch has a doctorate in political science and is a professor of political science at California Lutheran University.

“A lot of it is a game of bluff; both sides need to show that they are not wimps,” Gooch said.

While both parties should keep the best interest of the people in mind, most do not. All they are doing is having their own interests in mind.

Democrats seem to be using not only DREAMers, but those who work in the government as leverage to get Republicans to vote for what they want.

As politicians see it, they have plenty of money to survive on, which is not the case for many who work for the government.   As soon as the shutdown started, politicians immediately started placing the blame on each other. Both parties are at fault in this situation and while it is hard to come to an agreement, it shouldn’t get to the extreme where government shutdowns occur and where politicians start to act childish.

At a point in time where our country needs to be united more than ever before, it seems that we are straying further apart from each other.

“This makes us look weak and dysfunctional, makes it look like we can’t get our own house in order, and confirming to other countries that we are shutting down,” Gooch said.

It seems as though while other countries are progressing, all ours can do is spiral downwards.

Will there ever be a point where the government stops using us as pawns in their games? The government needs to stop using innocent people in their attempts to get what they want.

Vianca Castaneda-Correa