Cross Campus

Lawrence Reacts to News of Government Shutdown

This Tuesday at midnight, the United States Congress failed to reach a funding agreement and sent the federal government spiraling into shutdown. The shutdown cultivated a lot of strong opinions from students, faculty and residents of Lawrence.

“It’s a travesty, especially how this country is so revenue driven; it’s sad the two sides can’t get together,” said Paul Franklin, a Lawrence resident.

Rick, a 52 year old Lawrence resident, said his brothers are upset that they need to go to work without regular compensation. Rick’s brothers are among more than two million federal employees who will receive delayed paychecks and 800,000 federal employees who may never receive payment, according to an article published in “The Washington Post” yesterday.

Lawrence High School (LHS) students and faculty shared similar opinions.

“I think it was because the Republican Party can’t get the conservative wing of their party under control. Now they’re in a fight with a president that can’t be re-elected,” said Paul Mueller, Instructor in 9th and 11th grade History at Humanities and Leadership Development (HLD), a school within LHS.

Heath Churchill, Instructor in United States History at LHS, said, “It’s annoying and frustrating because it’s Congress’ job [to reach an agreement]. Hopefully no long term effects happen from this.”

The shutdown, however, has disrupted several federal programs. Most notably, The Center for Disease Control has halted funding for its flu research program, The Department of Agriculture’s “Women, Infants and Children” program, which helps some nine million new or expecting mothers purchase healthy food, will also lose funding during the shutdown.

One student, Yoshi La Verde HLD ’16 said, “If this continues, then were still going to have trouble in the streets, were also still going to have poverty. This shutdown is only making things worse.”

In a city where over a third of the population lives in poverty, a federal government shutdown is particularly alarming. No food stamps can mean no dinner and no welfare checks can mean that bills will be unpayable. So many people in Lawrence rely on government welfare that when it shuts down, they shut down as well.