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    Vice President Mike Pence, center, listens as President Donald Trump argues with House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House, Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018, in Washington.

    'Hardcore Ideological' Divide Could Make US Gov't Shutdown Last 'Weeks' - Prof

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    President Trump has threatened to veto legislative efforts by House Democrats to end the government shutdown, accusing them of ignoring "the Nation's urgent border security needs" by refusing to grant to his request for $5.6 billion to build a border wall on the US-Mexico border.

    Trump and the Democrats showed no signs of backing down amid the partial shutdown as it entered its 14th day on Friday, with no clear end to the stalemate in sight.

    Speaking to Sputnik, Hamline University political science professor Dr. David Schultz said that the current shutdown is well on course to becoming the longest shutdown in US history after the 1995-1996 shutdown, which lasted three weeks.

    The current shutdown also differs from others before it, Dr. Schultz said, because "we're really looking at, at this point, at this being a hardcore matter of ideology. What I mean is that in the previous shutdowns, it was a little bit of ideology, but it was in terms of dollars and cents, in terms of compromising on dollars. Here, Donald Trump has made building the wall – funding a concrete wall along the US-Mexican border an absolute essential, and he's holding out no language for compromise."

    "That is the recipe for this being a very, very long and protracted shutdown," the professor warned.

    According to Dr. Schultz, the worst case scenario could mean that the shutdown lasts for several more weeks, and eventually starts to eat away at the US economy. "We know that back in 2013, when there was a 15 day shutdown of the US government, the estimates were that that it cost the US economy approximately $24 billion US dollars, had an impact on the GDP, and eventually had an impact on the bond rating," the academic recalled.

    "I think the worst case scenario here is not just in terms of how it affects the perceived legitimacy of the US government, but how it affects the economy, and maybe potentially starts to drag down the global economy. Because if the United States starts to have any significant slowdown of its economic performance, that clearly will have a cascade effect across the world, much in the same way that we saw when the US banks collapsed back in 2008, [which had] a ripple effect across the world," Schultz added.

    The academic estimates that the shutdown has already cost the economy at least $20 billion. 

    "And if you look at the domestic stock markets in the United States…in terms of how they've fallen as a result of the government shutdown, one could argue that the costs already are maybe even in the hundreds of billions of dollars, because we've seen a dramatic drop in the value of the US stock market. The stocks fell in December; it was the worst December in the United States since the Great Depression back in the 1930s, so it's already been incredibly costly to the US economy," he emphasized.

    Ultimately the professor said that while President Trump was unlikely to back down, his Republican allies in Congress may eventually bend to pressures from their constituents, particularly when they start calling their senators to complain about the shutdown's impact on things like federal housing loan processing, small business and farming assistance, and national parks.

    The ongoing partial shutdown of the US federal government began on December 22. The shutdown has affected multiple government departments, including Homeland Security, Transportation, Justice, Commerce, State, Agriculture, Interior, the Treasury, and Housing and Urban Development, as well as multiple agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Food and Drug Administration and the Internal Revenue Service. Some 800,000 federal workers have been affected, with some of them furloughed while others continue to work without pay.

    Listen to David Schultz's full interview with Radio Sputnik below. The views expressed by Dr. Schultz are his own, and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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