The shut­down, Day 23: What’s new, what’s com­ing

The State - - News -

What’s up with the par­tial gov­ern­ment shut­down on Day 23.


Sen. Lind­sey Gra­ham, R-S.C., who is close to Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, says he’s been push­ing the pres­i­dent to re­open the gov­ern­ment for a few weeks to con­tinue ne­go­ti­at­ing with Democrats over fund­ing for a bor­der wall be­fore by­pass­ing Congress and declar­ing a na­tional emer­gency.

“If we can’t (get a deal) at the end of three weeks, all bets are off,” Gra­ham told “Fox News Sun­day.”

Cana­dian air traf­fic con­trollers are buy­ing piz­zas for their Amer­i­can coun­ter­parts in Salt Lake City, Utah, and An­chor­age, Alaska, as a show of sup­port. Some 10,000 air traf­fic con­trollers in the U.S. have been work­ing with­out pay since Dec. 22.

A ter­mi­nal at Mi­ami In­ter­na­tional Air­port is set to re­open Mon­day af­ter be­ing closed at times over the week­end due to a shut­down-in­duced staff short­age. Trans­porta­tion Se­cu­rity Ad­min­is­tra­tion agents have been call­ing out sick to protest not be­ing paid for their work.


“It’s one-tenth of 1 per­cent of the fed­eral bud­get. If we can­not do this to- gether, what else can we not do in the fu­ture? This is not that big of a prob­lem.” – House Repub­li­can leader Kevin McCarthy of Cal­i­for­nia on the $5.7 bil­lion Trump wants for the U.S.-Mex­ico bor­der wall.

“I think it ends when the Se­nate Repub­li­cans say we’ve had enough. We’re not go­ing to stand here and be blamed for this. We be­lieve the gov­ern­ment should be opened. There should be timely ne­go­ti­a­tions on bor­der se­cu­rity af­ter the gov­ern­ment is open.” – Se­nate Demo­cratic Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill.


Congress re­turns on Mon­day. Will the shut­down end this week?

Trump ad­dresses the Amer­i­can Farm Bureau on Mon­day. Farm­ers have sup­ported Trump through a trade war with China that cost them bil­lions, but they are com­plain­ing about the loss of loans, pay­ments and other agri­cul­tural ser­vices be­cause of the shut­down.

Trump is ex­pected to sign leg­is­la­tion this week au­tho­riz­ing back pay for some 800,000 fed­eral work­ers who ei­ther have been idled or are work­ing with­out pay for as long as the shut­down lasts.


Nine of the 15 Cabi­netlevel de­part­ments have not been funded, in­clud­ing Agri­cul­ture, Home­land Se­cu­rity, State, Trans­porta­tion, In­te­rior and Jus­tice. Some iconic Na­tional Park fa­cil­i­ties are shut­tered as are the Smith­so­nian mu­se­ums and the Na­tional Zoo in Washington. Nearly ev­ery­one at NASA is be­ing told to stay home, as are most at the In­ter­nal Rev­enue Ser­vice, which pro­cesses tax re­turns and is­sues re­funds, though the ad­min­is­tra­tion says it will is­sue re­funds dur­ing the shut­down.


Some 420,000 fed­eral em­ploy­ees whose work is de­clared es­sen­tial are work­ing with­out pay, in­clud­ing the FBI, TSA and other fed­eral law en­force­ment of­fi­cers. Some staff at the State and Home­land Se­cu­rity de­part­ments are also work­ing with­out com­pen­sa­tion.


The U.S. Capi­tol is seen be­hind the Peace Mon­u­ment dur­ing a snow­storm Sun­day on Capi­tol Hill in Washington. With the stand­off over pay­ing for Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s long-promised bor­der wall drag­ging on, the pres­i­dent’s Oval Of­fice ad­dress and visit to the Texas bor­der over the past week failed to break the log­jam and left aides and al­lies fear­ful that he has mis­judged Demo­cratic re­solve and is run­ning out of op­tions.

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