Students feel financial pain of government shutdown

Sophaline Chuong, Staff Writer

Although the 16 day government shutdown has ended, many students and their families felt the effects directly.

Freshman Alina Valverde says she was concerned when she heard about the shutdown because of the effects it has on a federal program such as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), which provides monthly aid for over millions of families.

“Half of my family was worried about how to pay for our expenses,” Valverde said.

National parks and memorial sites marked with fences displaying the word “closed” left many federal employees furloughed.

Senior Skyler Priest’s family planned a trip to Yosemite National Park, however the shutdown delayed their plans.

“It [the shutdown] conflicted with our plans because we had to wait,” Priest said.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a federally funded research and development center, employs 6,400 people including 1,250 people in the San Joaquin County.

Bear Creek student Chris Rider and his family were at risk by the shutdown, since his father is employed by the National Laboratory as a machine lab mechanic.

However, previously appropriated funds were able to keep the laboratory open for a few weeks.

“There was one more week left until the furloughing happened,” Rider said. “Luckily the government opened; if not, my dad would have to look for work somewhere else.”

Junior Christina Cruz and her family were immediately impacted.  Cruz’s mother was furloughed from the IRS (Internal Revenue Service).  The government agency is responsible for tax collection and tax law enforcement.

“I was shocked,” Cruz said.  “I didn’t know whether she was still going to be there at home when I came from school.”

Cruz was glad to learn that her mother’s pay was restored after she returned to work.

“I got paid for the days the government was closed,” Hannah Thompson, Cruz’s mother said.  “The pay was in my very next paycheck.”

Although a compromise was reached on October 17, the settlement is just a mere expansion of the deadline of the federal spending and debt ceiling.

“The problem will last much longer than the shutdown,” freshmen Dannisha Chandler said.

The government shutdown resulted in an estimated $24 billion loss in the economy.

For many students, the shutdown led to feelings of disgust at the bickering between the two political parties.

“I am disappointed in the government [because of the shutdown] instead of a compromise,” sophomore Aidan Backus said.