The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

CHS families affected by government shutdown

The federal government shutdown Oct. 1 after Congress failed to reach a spending deal in time for the new fiscal year, resulting in over 800,000 workers being furloughed.

The shutdown primarily sprung from the conflict between House Republicans and Senate Democrats on whether to add anti-Obamacare amendments to the bill.

“I’m happy to have negotiations but we can’t do it with a gun held to the head of the American people,” President Obama said of congressional Republicans.

Besides it massive effect on federal employees in general, the shutdown has had a large impact on CHS families as well.

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According to CHS parent Teresa L. Chapa, Ph.D., MPA, because of the shutdown, she has been unable to attend any work related events or check her government e-mail.  She has also not been paid since the shutdown began but that may change because Congress passed a bill allowing all furloughed workers to be paid.  However, they will not be paid bi-weekly like they were before.

“I am so used to a tight schedule and was shocked when we were called into work to shut down,” Chapa said.

CHS parent Xin Xu has also been affected by the shutdown, but has found other ways to make productive use of her time.

“It caused a lot of confusion at the beginning,” Xu said.  “Now I am getting used to it as time goes by, and I am starting to focus on some scientific research readings and do some homework that doesn’t require access to government internet servers.”

However, Chapa is positive furloughed employees will be able to return to work by Monday.

“I am optimistic, because the country is pressuring them [Congress] to do their job,” Chapa said.  “I have been stunned at the rhetoric and lack of willingness to work for the country as a whole.”

Chapa’s daughter Savannah, a junior at CHS, however, has enjoyed being able to spend more time with her mother during the shutdown.

“I like having my mom at home,” Savannah said.  “However, I know how much she wants to get back to work, so I’m ready for her to go back.”

Yet, Savannah is rather pessimistic about the likelihood that Congress will resolve the shutdown anytime soon.

“We haven’t really heard of any real progress, and it’s distressing,” Savannah said.  “Of course, I guess it’d be better to look at it sunny-side up, but it’s kind of hard to when there is literally nobody working together in congress.”

As of now, Obama is willing to negotiate Obamacare’s future with congressional Republicans if Congress passes a spending deal and re-opens the government.

“Members of Congress, and the House Republicans in particular, don’t get to demand ransom in exchange for doing their job,” Obama said.

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CHS families affected by government shutdown