Quantcast
Connect with us

Shutdown bites economy, US Coast Guard, as talks to end impasse stall

Published

on

The U.S. economy is taking a larger-than-expected hit from the partial government shutdown, White House estimates showed on Tuesday, as contractors and even the Coast Guard go without pay and talks to end the impasse seemed stalled.

The longest such shutdown in U.S. history dragged into its 25th day with neither President Donald Trump nor Democratic congressional leaders showing signs of bending on the topic that triggered it – funding for a wall Trump promised to build along the border with Mexico.

ADVERTISEMENT

Trump insists Congress shell out $5.7 billion for wall funding this year, as about 800,000 federal workers go unpaid during the partial shutdown. He has refused to support legislation providing money for a range of agencies to operate until he gets the wall funds.

With the shutdown dragging on, federal courts will run out of operating funds on Jan. 25 and face “serious disruptions” if the shutdown continues, according to a court statement.

To try to take some of the sting out of the shutdown, Trump planned to sign on Wednesday the “Government Employee Fair Treatment Act of 2019,” which is legislation that would ensure that those federal workers furloughed will receive backpay once the shutdown is over.

The Internal Revenue Service said it planned to bring more than 46,000 furloughed workers back to their jobs as the agency enters its peak season of processing tax returns and refunds.

Trump invited a bipartisan group of lawmakers for lunch to discuss the standoff, but the White House said Democrats turned down the invitation. Nine House of Representatives Republicans, none of whom are involved in party leadership, attended.

ADVERTISEMENT

One attendee, John Katko, told CNN that Trump “wanted to continue to engage in negotiations.” He did not mention any new proposals Trump might pursue.

House Democratic leaders said they did not tell members to boycott Trump’s lunch but had pressed those invited to consider whether the talks would be merely a photo-op for Trump.

Separately, a bipartisan group of senators explored solutions. Senator Lisa Murkowski, a Republican participant, told reporters in a Capitol hallway that the group had “momentum,” but gave no details.

ADVERTISEMENT

Senator Joe Manchin, a Democratic participant, said: “Anything can be part of the negotiations.”

Lawmakers were supposed to be in their districts and states next week after Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, but the House and Senate planned to cancel the recess if the shutdown persists.

ADVERTISEMENT

While the shutdown hit about one-quarter of federal operations, a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Tuesday found that nearly four in 10 U.S. adults said they were either affected by the impasse or know someone who is. Fifty-one percent of those polled blamed Trump for the shutdown.

SEEKING COAST GUARD FUNDING
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said she was working with the White House and Congress to pass legislation to fund the Coast Guard. While the Pentagon is not affected by the shutdown, the Coast Guard budget is part of Nielsen’s department.

“Like the other branches of the U.S. military, active duty @USCG should be paid for their service and sacrifice to this nation,” Nielsen wrote on Twitter.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Trump administration had initially estimated the shutdown would cost the economy 0.1 percentage point in growth every two weeks that employees were without pay.

But on Tuesday, there was an updated figure: 0.13 percentage point every week because of the impact of work left undone by 380,000 furloughed employees as well as work left aside by federal contractors, a White House official said.

The economic risk prompted hawkish Federal Reserve officials to call for the central bank to pause interest rate hikes.

The shutdown’s effects have begun to reverberate across the country.

ADVERTISEMENT

Longer lines have formed at some airports as more security screeners fail to show up for work.

Speaking on CNBC, Delta Air Lines Inc Chief Executive Officer Ed Bastian said the partial shutdown would cost the airline $25 million in lost revenue in January because fewer government contractors are traveling.

Food and drug inspections have been curtailed but about 400 U.S. Food and Drug Administration staffers returned to work, Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said. They focus on high-risk medical devices, drugs and food.

Democrats, who took over the House this month, have rejected the border wall but back $1.3 billion in other border security measures this year. They have insisted the government be fully open before negotiations occur.

ADVERTISEMENT

House Democrats have passed a number of bills to end the shutdown, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, has said the chamber will not consider anything Trump would not sign into law.

Reporting by Steve Holland and David Morgan; Additional reporting by Susan Cornwell, Ginger Gibson, David Morgan, Makini Brice, Susan Heavey, Alexandra Alper, Lisa Lambert and Eric Beech; Writing by Roberta Rampton and Richard Cowan; Editing by Bill Trott and Peter Cooney


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Adam Schiff explains how Trump just crippled US election security with appointment of ‘loyalist’ intel director

Published

on

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) warned on Wednesday that election security in the United States is in jeopardy due to President Donald Trump's choice for acting director of national intelligence.

CNN's Manu Raju asked Schiff about the appointment of Richard Grenell as the nation's top intelligence coordinator.

"He has little to no relevant experience except for being a Trump loyalist," Schiff noted. "And the level of confidence that we can have that we will get fully informed of threats to our elections has just gone down to practically none."

Grenell, who currently serves as the ambassador to Germany, has come under fire from Democrats for possibly violating federal law after he "failed to inform the department about work he did for foreign entities before joining the Trump administration," according to CBS News.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

How the coronavirus has infected Trump’s presidency — and is spreading throughout the global economy

Published

on

Nobody saw this coming. Turns out it may not be Bernie, Mike, Joe, Liz, Pete—or even Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff—who bring down Donald Trump.

While it’s still early, there are indications that the coronavirus is the pandemic that could torpedo, among other things, the booming economy Trump has always taken credit for and assumed would sweep him back into office in 2020.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell nearly 2000 points Monday and Tuesday on coronavirus-fueled. At the same time, the Centers for Disease Control warned Americans that they should “work with us to prepare for the expectation that this could be bad” and outlined how schools and businesses should prepare if the virus spreads. San Francisco announced a state of emergency Tuesday.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Here’s how Democrats can make Trump’s race-baiting blow up in his face in the 2020 election

Published

on

Writing for The New York Times on Wednesday, columnist Thomas Edsall broke down how President Donald Trump's racist rhetoric galvanizes conservative white voters — and what evidence shows is the best way Democrats can neuter it.

"A forthcoming paper by Desmond King and Rogers M. Smith, political scientists at Oxford and the University of Pennsylvania, 'White Protectionism in America,' makes a strong case that Trump, unlike his Republican predecessors in the White House, has gone far beyond rhetoric and token gestures to substantively address the concerns of his anti-immigrant and socially conservative supporters," wrote Edsall.

Continue Reading
 
 
close-image