Odyssey Fields | Staff Writer
Evan Vucci | Associated Press
The 1,159-page Funding Bill passed the House of Representative by 300 to 128 and the U.S Senate by 83 to 16 on Feb. 14. This bill provides $1.375 billion to build the wall at the southern border, reported CBS News. President Donald Trump’s goal was to receive $8 billion, but Democrats and Republicans disagreed.
Trump instigated the longest U.S. government shutdown in history, affecting millions of people. Many citizens worried about what was next for the country. Some were not able to pay bills, and others were working with no pay throughout the shutdown. Financial situations were even worse for some government workers.
“We are already seeing negative effects from trade partners due to some of the bullying policies that Trump has put in place,” said one faculty member in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.
Given an already dire economic situation, many people were worried that Trump would not sign this bill, leading the United States into a second potential government shutdown in three months.
But while Trump did finally sign the bill on the morning of Feb. 15, he also declared a national emergency in regards to the nation’s border security. Doing so allows him to gain additional funds for the southern border wall. This decision left students and faculty at Hampton University worried for what was next for the economy.
“This most likely will affect our FAFSA [Free Application for Federal Student Aid] and the amount of money we will get back. Some students may not be able to come back,”’ said Jourdyn Grandison, a sophomore at Hampton.
As an attempt to gain funding for the border wall, taxes may rise, leaving middle class families fumbling. Despite this, Trump expresses no empathy for the effects a National Emergency Declaration may have on Americans.
“I’m going to be signing a national emergency, and it’s been signed many times before. It’s been signed by other presidents; from 1977 or so it gave the presidents the power. It’s rarely been a problem. They sign it, nobody cares,” said Trump during an immigration speech, according to CNN.
Trump’s next steps are unpredictable. According to the New York Times, Congress could, theoretically, cancel the national emergency by passing a joint resolution.
“The National Emergencies Act was contemplated to apply to natural disasters or catastrophic events such as the attacks on our country on 9/11. For the president to use it to re-purpose billions of dollars that Congress has appropriated for other purposes that [it] has previously signed into law, strikes me as undermining the appropriations process,” said Sen. Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, speaking to CNN.
Tensions are increasing in D.C. as citizens await politicians’ next big move. Eyes fall on the Democrats and Republicans in the House of Representatives to ease these tensions in respect to undecided issues regarding border security.