President Trump agreed Friday to reopen the federal government for three weeks while negotiations proceeded over how to secure the nation’s southwestern border, backing down after a month-long standoff failed to force Democrats to give him billions of dollars for his long-promised wall.
Senators rejected two competing bills to end the government shutdown on Thursday. There were signs of bipartisanship: Six Republicans supported the Democratic bill for two weeks of funding. One Democrat voted for President Trump’s proposal for a border wall.
Fears are rising about the state of the world’s biggest economies, with China posting its worst annual growth in decades and the United States injecting more uncertainty with tariffs and a lengthy government shutdown. China reported Monday that its economy expanded at 6.6 percent last year — a figure that would be good for many countries but represents the slowest growth for China in 28 years.
In the first congressional hearing at which Native members of Congress were present, Democratic representatives on Tuesday heard directly from Native American communities that are being devastated by the ongoing partial government shutdown, which this week became the longest in U.S. history.
With the record-long government shutdown over President Donald Trump's demand for border wall funding now in its fourth week, an official representing the National Air Traffic Controllers Association appeared on CNN on Wednesday to issue an alarming warning: Flying is "absolutely" less safe now than it was before the shutdown began.
President Trump said on Monday that he has rejected a proposal by Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina to temporarily reopen the government in an effort to jump-start talks with Democratic lawmakers on funding a border wall. Mr. Trump, advisers said, has refused to allow his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, or anyone else negotiating on his behalf to compromise on his demand for $5.7 billion in border wall funding. That has led to awkward moments in front of congressional leaders.
An unnamed “senior official in the Trump administration” wrote in an anonymous Daily Caller op-ed Monday that the record-breaking 24-day partial government shutdown “is an opportunity to strip wasteful government agencies for good.”
President Trump slammed his hand on a table and stormed out of a White House meeting with congressional leaders on Wednesday after Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said she would not fund a wall along the southern border, dramatically escalating the confrontation over the government shutdown.
The government shutdown has stalled President Trump’s program to send billions of dollars to farmers hurt by the trade war with China, as the Agriculture Department office responsible for administering the payouts is closed for lack of funding. On Tuesday, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced that the department has extended the deadline for farmers to apply for bailout payments. The application window was slated to close Jan. 15, but Perdue said Tuesday that the deadline will be extended, at minimum, weeks after the shutdown ends.
Domestic violence shelters across the country are cobbling together funds to keep their doors open as the government shutdown hits the two-week mark. Most shelters pay their staff, rent and expenses out of pocket, and are repaid with federal funds at the end of each month, Kim Gandy, the president of the National Network to End Domestic Violence explained.
In the 2019 GOP-controlled Senate, the first bill to be considered – S.1 – is not designed to protect American workers, bolster U.S. companies, or address the various debates over border security and immigration. It’s not a bill to open the government. Instead, according to multiple sources involved in the legislative process, S.1 will be a compendium containing a handful of foreign-policy related measures, a main one of which is a provision, with Florida’s GOP Sen. Marco Rubio as a lead sponsor, to defend the Israeli government. The bill is a top legislative priority for AIPAC.
With hundreds of thousands of federal employees currently furloughed or working without pay due to the ongoing government shutdown, President Donald Trump delivered another blow to struggling workers on Friday by signing an executive order that will freeze the pay of around two million public employees in 2019.