President Donald Trump announced that he and congressional leaders have reached a deal to reopen the government for three weeks while continuing the negotiation for money to build the U.S. - Mexico border wall. While government employees in Utah, along with rest of the United States started receiving paychecks again, many people fear they are not yet out of the hot water.
Bill Tibbetts, the assistant executive of Crossroads Urban Center explained that Salt Lake City’s food pantry was getting more and more government workers every day, and although the shutdown got lifted by the short-term bipartisan deal, he said that if the congressional negotiation continues in a stalemate, the people that were using the center’s services could be facing the same problems soon.
“People will lose their food stamp benefits, lose their WIC benefits, if they're getting a housing subsidy they won't get that, there will be people facing eviction; it needs to be resolved soon,” he said.
Many Utah government employees rely heavily on the income they bring in, often living paycheck to paycheck. JD Herndon is a graduate student at Utah State University as well as a part-time research assistant at the USDA Pollinating Insect Research Unit. He is one of 35,000 Utah government employees that had suffered from the 35-day shutdown.
“I didn’t anticipate a government shutdown, I didn’t want to take on too many responsibilities, so I was planning on this being my income,” Herndon said.
After the longest government shutdown in United States history, many Utahns are hoping that President Donald Trump and congressional leaders can come to an agreement regarding the U.S - Mexico border wall.