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Trump, lawmakers battle over shutdown, wall funding

A partial government shutdown seems likely after the House of Representatives passed a stopgap funding bill that includes $5.7 billion to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

The Senate had previously passed a bill that extended funding for a handful of agencies that were not funded by appropriations bills. That continuing resolution did not include funding for the wall, which Democrats do not support.

If, as expected, the Senate does not support the House bill on Friday, then either the House and President Donald Trump have to cave at the eleventh hour, or else there will be a partial government shutdown at midnight.

The sudden lurch by the House to pass wall funding came about after leaders from both chambers had agreed in principle to punt the government funding decisions into next year. 

The House voted 217-185 to support the wall funding, with eight Republicans voting no.

President Donald Trump said on Thursday that he would not sign a short-term spending bill that lacks significant new border-security funding.

At midnight on Dec. 21, funding is set to expire for DHS as well as the Departments of Commerce, State, Treasury, Interior, Housing and Urban Development and Agriculture as well as the General Services Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Office of Management and Budget, NASA and others.

In total, about 380,000 federal employees would be furloughed, while approximately 400,000 – including more than 210,000 at DHS – would be deemed essential and have to report to work without their paychecks.

In remarks to a reporter Dec. 20, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), a founder of the right-wing Freedom Caucus that staunchly urged Trump to dig in on the wall said that that lapses in appropriations and unpaid furloughs are part of federal employment.

"It's actually part of what you do when you sign up for any public service position And it’s not lost on me in terms of, you know, the potential hardship. At the same time, they know they would be required to work and even in preparation for a potential shutdown those groups within the agencies have been instructed to show up," Meadows said.

This story was updated Dec. 20 after the House vote.

Reader comments

Mon, Dec 31, 2018

Elected officials are all minions ( few are not but they are the exception). Lets vote these idiots out and press for term limits and reductions in their pay and benefits. If one would cut their salaries back to $50,000 per year and they are par of a shutdown dock their pay and benefits and they surely would leave since they should get no back pay. The idiots Clinton, Bush Jr, Obama and this cast of morons really have hit bottom slamming hard working federal employees. Also reduce and eliminate much of the management bloat and the savings could be used to reward hard working employees who do their jobs well but the only recognition that seems to show up is shutdowns and pay caps.

Mon, Dec 31, 2018

We need a Labour Party to protect and promote the average joe. Enough of the Democrats creating social programs to fund their pockets and enough of Republicans who do their same with Corporate favoritism. We need a true party for the common man.

Tue, Dec 25, 2018

Schumer, Pelosi and all the political appointees and their minions should resign in an all out effort to make certain this type of moronic behavior does not happen again. The federal employees have taken the brunt from Clinton, Bush Jr, Obama and now the idiots voted in in 2016. Elected officials do your job and wake up.

Mon, Dec 24, 2018

It's time for every federal employee, from every federal agency band together a have a strike once they end the shutdown. We need to send a message that we will not be part of this game anymore and deserve to be treated with respect. But the only way this works is if everyone walks off, Everyone !!!

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Edward A. Zurndorfer Certified Financial Planner
Mike Causey Columnist
Tom Fox VP for Leadership and Innovation, Partnership for Public Service
Mathew B. Tully Legal Analyst

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