Secret Service officers maintain a watch on the 22nd day of a partial government shutdown at the White House in Washington on Saturday. , U.S. Photo: REUTERS
world

U.S. government shutdown breaks record, with no end in sight

20 Comments
By David Brunnstrom and David Morgan

A partial U.S. government shutdown over President Donald Trump's demand for $5.7 billion to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border entered its 22nd day on Saturday, making it the longest shuttering of federal agencies in U.S. history, with no end in sight.

Trump, holed up in the White House with Congress adjourned for the weekend, warned of a much lengthier impasse and blamed the Democrats.

"We will be out for a long time unless the Democrats come back from their 'vacations' and get back to work," he tweeted.

Democrats say Trump shut the government in a "temper tantrum" by refusing to sign bipartisan funding legislation last year that did not include money for his wall.

The closure, which began on Dec. 22, broke a decades-old record by a 1995-1996 shutdown under former President Bill Clinton that lasted 21 days.

Federal workers affected missed their first paychecks on Friday, heightening concerns about mounting financial pressures on employees, including air traffic controllers and airport security officials who continue to work without pay.

Roughly 800,000 federal workers did not receive paychecks that would have gone out on Friday. Some have resorted to selling their possessions or posting appeals on online fundraising sites to help pay their bills.

Miami International Airport said it will close one of its terminals early over the next several days due to a possible shortage of security screeners, who have been calling in sick at twice the normal rate.

A union that represents thousands of air traffic controllers sued the Federal Aviation Administration on Friday, saying it had violated federal wage law by failing to pay workers. It is at least the third lawsuit filed by unions on behalf of unpaid workers.

The head of the U.S. Secret Service, which is responsible for protecting Trump, has warned employees that financial stress can lead to depression and anxiety. "Keep an eye out for warning signs of trouble," Director R.D. "Tex" Alles wrote in a memo seen by Reuters.

The Transportation Security Administration, responsible for airport security screening, said its rate of unscheduled absences rose to 5.6 percent on Saturday from 3.3 percent a year ago but that security standards have not been compromised.

The Federal Aviation Administration, which oversees air traffic controllers, said on Saturday it had seen no unusual rates of sick leave among its air traffic controllers and no disruptions to air traffic control operations.

To support its workforce, TSA said it was processing pay for employees who worked on the first day of the shutdown and announced $500 bonuses for uniformed screening officers.

Trump is considering a possible national emergency declaration that would end the shutdown and allow him to obtain his wall funding by circumventing Congress. But on Friday, he said he would not take such a step "right now".

"Democrats should come back to Washington and work to end the Shutdown, while at the same time ending the horrible humanitarian crisis at our Southern Border. I am in the White House waiting for you!" he tweeted.

Trump also urged his 57.2 million Twitter followers to contact Democratic lawmakers and "Tell them to get it done!"

Democrats, who call a wall an ineffective, outdated answer to a complex problem, have passed several bills in the House of Representatives to reopen the government without funding for Trump's barrier. But the legislation has been ignored by the Republican-controlled Senate.

Trump originally pledged Mexico would pay for the wall, which he says is needed to stem the flow of illegal immigrants and drugs. But Mexico has refused.

U.S. government departments including the Treasury, Energy, Commerce and State departments, shut down when funding lapsed on Dec. 22. Funding for other portions of the government, including the Department of Defense and Congress, was approved, allowing them to continue regular operations.

Trump has repeatedly described the situation at the Mexico border as a "humanitarian crisis" as speculation has increased this week that he would circumvent Congress to begin building his signature wall - a move that would be sure to draw a court challenge from Democrats who say the barrier would be barbaric and ineffective.

Instead, the president urged lawmakers to provide him the$5.7 billion he is seeking for border security.

A national emergency would allow Trump to divert money from other projects to pay for the wall, which was a central promise of his 2016 campaign. That, in turn, could prompt him to sign bills that restore funding to agencies that have been affected by the shutdown.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

20 Comments
Login to comment

Let's hope that Mueller's paycheck and expense account have been cut off.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Let's hope that Mueller's paycheck and expense account have been cut of

Yes, because that's the only way to stop Mueller from serving justice. We all know that justice being served is bad.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I have ZERO sympathy for any Trump voters who are hurting as a result of Government shutdown.

He’s more worried about the fact that there’s an active FBI investigation into actions taken AS PRESIDENT that question whether he’s an ongoing Russian asset intent on destroying America.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Putin getting exactly what he paid Trump (in campaign help) for - a decreased US presence on the world stage (pullout of Kyoto Treaty, pullout of Iran Missile deal, pullout of IRBM treaty, pullout of Syria...) and political chaos and gridlock domestically.

Best investment Putin ever made - and that's saying a lot....

5 ( +6 / -1 )

"We're for border security, we're just against the wall" = "We're for home security, we're just against front doors"

-Democrats 2019

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Hold the line! If the Democrats want open borders and won’t recognize the power of the cartels and sit back and allow illegals, drugs and weapons to flow in through the most pourous border on the planet, these people should never be in power if they’re willing to compromise the safety of millions of Americans.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Hold the line! If the Democrats want open borders

They don’t.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The Democrats are not doing anything about it and haven’t, but they have increased the number of the homeless and sending and keep illegals in the sanctuary cities

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Bass4funk,

Despite my other wise liberal leanings I actually think strict immigration and boarder security is fairly critical, and requires a separation of emotion to a degree, however that means for the Pro wall people too.

Trumps claims of a specific and recent "crisis" as well as the drugs, terror and even illegals has been pretty well debunked. Drugs come through ports, most illegals get off planes, they just don't leave, for example.

A wall isn't likely to have any impact of the issues you quote, yet once again the same lower-middle class workers are the ones that suffer.

Even recently the GOP had legislative power, it didn't do anything about this crisis then, which makes it pretty clearly a political play, one that isn't working very well for Trump.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Chuck and Nancy can stop the shutdown anytime.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@blacklabe Chuck and Nancy can stop the shutdown anytime.

Trump shut it down. Here's a Trump quote:

"The problems start from the top and they have to get solved from the top. The president is the leader, he has to get everyone in a room and lead,"

In other words, according to Trump himself he isn't leading.

Here's another:

‘I am proud to shut down the government’, Trump tells Schumer – video

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/video/2018/dec/11/donald-trump-government-shut-down-chuck-schumer-white-house-video

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So even if Trump is a bad leader and he is directly to blame for the shutdown.....

Still doesn’t prevent Chuck and Nancy from taking action to resolve this. They can get the government reopened tomorrow.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

They can get the government reopened tomorrow.

But to do that they'd have to cave into Trump's ridiculous demand to use billions of public moneys for something of questionable utility.

Hold the line D's. Get some Mueller!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So even if Trump is a bad leader and he is directly to blame for the shutdown.....

So true...

Still doesn’t prevent Chuck and Nancy from taking action to resolve this. They can get the government reopened tomorrow.

Trump could open it today...

In fact we wouldn't even be here today if Trump hadn't flip-flopped and just signed the funding bill that passed both Repub House and Senate in Dec...

But then, no one likes to be humiliated by Ingram and Limbaugh...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Still doesn’t prevent Chuck and Nancy from taking action to resolve this. They can get the government reopened tomorrow.

Why would they? It's Trump's shutdown:

"If you say who gets fired, it always has to be the top. Problems start from the top, and they have to get solved from the top, and the president’s the leader, and he’s got to get everybody in a room, and he’s got to lead. And he doesn’t do that, he doesn’t like doing that, that’s not his strength."

"when they talk about the government shutdown, they’re going to be talking about the president of the United States, who the president was at that time. They’re not going to be talking about who was the head of the House, the head the Senate, who’s running things in Washington. So I really think the pressure is on the president."

“FACT – the reason why Americans have to worry about a government shutdown is because Obama refuses to pass a budget.”

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Hold the line! If the Democrats want open borders and won’t recognize the power of the cartels and sit back and allow illegals, drugs and weapons to flow in through the most pourous border on the planet, these people should never be in power if they’re willing to compromise the safety of millions of Americans.

Stay the course! (I don't like hold the line - too nautical). If the Republicans want open borders and won’t recognize the power of ISIS and other transnational terrorist groups and sit back and allow terrorists, criminals, and weapons to flow in through our northern border and through our air and sea ports, these people should never be in power if they’re willing to compromise the safety of millions of Americans.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Reading about the House Freedom Caucus coming out discouraging Trump from unilateral action based on "national emergency" as it would set a precedent brought two thoughts.

Republicans figure they will not hold the presidency for some time and thus do not want to expand its powers.

If there is any "national emergency" in America now, it is due to gun violence. The last thing Repubs want is a Dem president empowered to deal with this.
2 ( +2 / -0 )

Despite my other wise liberal leanings I actually think strict immigration and boarder security is fairly critical, and requires a separation of emotion to a degree, however that means for the Pro wall people too. 

I do agree to a certain extent, but both sides are digging in their heels on this.

Trumps claims of a specific and recent "crisis" as well as the drugs, terror and even illegals has been pretty well debunked. Drugs come through ports, most illegals get off planes, they just don't leave, for example.

I’m sorry, but that’s just not true, we just had two caravans that have crossed over recently, people trying to climb the fences and force their way into the country, the mayor oof TJ says it’s a crisis, the videos show it, there is just No denying that the border is out of control, it has been pretty much for most of my life and it’s getting worse and everything from illegals, drugs and the cartels-Sinaloa and Zetas especially.

A wall isn't likely to have any impact of the issues you quote, yet once again the same lower-middle class workers are the ones that suffer.

I disagree.

Even recently the GOP had legislative power, it didn't do anything about this crisis then, which makes it pretty clearly a political play, one that isn't working very well for Trump.

Can't argue with you on that, there is no denying that, but as incompetent as the Republicans have been on this issue, the Democrats since 2013 had passed legislation to fortify the border, it never was never done. So as much as I agree with you on the GOP for being complicit in building the wall, the Democrats have been as bad and even worse now by not keeping their promises and try to shove the blame back to the President when for 3 years the Democrats didn’t do anything.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Hold the line! If the Democrats want open borders 

They don't. Like even people that you deem "hardcore socialists" like Sanders and Cortez have said that they don't want open borders. If the so called far left doesn't want open borders, how do you believe that moderate Democrats want it?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Nobody campaigned for the American taxpayers to foot the bill, not even Trump

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites