By Abi Murray and Brooklyn McWhorter

Tensions are rising across the nation as the government shutdown, beginning on December 22, has become the longest running in the America’s history, defeating President Clinton’s 21 full-day record in 1996 by over ten days.

Because of this, 9 out of 15 federal departments and dozens of agencies are closed. 800,000 government employees have been working without pay, resulting in mass amounts of workers calling in sick or quitting, causing delays in tax returns and safety concerns for the country’s homeland security and food quality.

Although government teacher Dan Gilleran admits the shutdown is beneficial to his class by sparking interest in students, he expresses concern for more than just federal employees. Gilleran worries for American citizens experiencing the indirect effects of the shutdown, such as businesses with high federal employee populations.

“They’re losing that business and they will never make that up,” Gilleran said. “They’re not going to get back pay like federal employees, all these businesses are affected by it. So it’s a huge deal.”

However one of the more concerning agency shutdowns remains in the Transportation Security Administration. TSA oversees public travel within the U.S., including that of international countries with incoming transportation. As employees approach their fourth week without pay, head of TSA Council on the American Federation of Government Employees, Hydrick Thomas, reports daily resignation calls from employees due to their extreme financial hardships.

Detroit Police Department Officer Monae Carter is very frustrated with the lack of support for TSA workers going without paychecks and healthcare. Carter sympathizes with those who must also provide for their family on a tightened budget. She said she can attest to the frustrations of working understaffed.

“I’ve experienced when there is more officers than needed, which is great, and when there weren’t enough officers,” Carter said. “Having less is almost like having to be two places at once. Although we make things work, it’s just added stress to make sure the night runs as smooth and ensures the safety of the public and ourselves to make it home-safe.”

The current government shutdown began due to disagreements between President Trump and the Republican Senate against the Democratic led House. When drawing up the 2019 spending budget, which is projected to spend around $4.4 trillion, the House’s budget proposal only allocated $1.6 billion towards erecting a wall along the Mexican-American border despite Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion.

Junior Michael Kehrig finds the shutdown pointless and no more than a political move made by both sides to make a statement. He worries that at the rate this government is moving, the shutdown will begin to have more negative effects on the economy and the country’s image.

“It’s just interesting to see because Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, a lot of the big name Democrats are against the wall funding or funding border security,” Kehrig said. “(But) five, six years ago, (they) were in support of more money for border security or against illegal immigration, but their entire ideology has changed.”

No matter their side of the spectrum, Gilleran hopes for politicians to stop demonizing each other in order to foster understanding conversations.

“You can’t make the other side out as evil,” Gilleran said. “They want their family to be healthy, they want a good country, they want clean air, they want this stuff. So the overall goals are the same, you just have to figure out how to get there and when we do, (the goal) is to listen and respect the other opinion.”