- With the continuation of the record partial US government shutdown, 800,000 federal workers were due to miss their second paycheck on Friday.
- Competing bills to reopen the government failed in the Senate on Thursday, leading President Donald Trump to suggest he would accept a “prorated down payment” for the US-Mexico border wall.
- Trump did not define what he meant by that, leading House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to dismiss the idea.
- Federal workers, some of whom are relying on food banks, are protesting and warning that Americans are being put in danger by the shutdown.
Federal workers were due to miss a second paycheck on Friday amid the record partial government shutdown.
The deadlock showed little sign of ending after Democrats on Thursday rejected a suggestion by President Donald Trump that he might relax his demand for $US5.7 billion to fund a border wall and accept a “down payment” instead.
About 800,000 federal workers are either off work or working without pay during the shutdown. An increasing number say they are relying on donations and food banks to make ends meet.
Many have warned they are risking the safety of Americans as they continue to work without getting paid.
President Donald Trump suggested on Thursday that he would be open to reopening the government in exchange for a “prorated down payment” for his proposed barrier on the US-Mexico border.
Trump did not define the term further or give a figure for a size of the down payment, but he did suggest that a “reasonable” instalment could be a way to solve the deadlock.
But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected the idea. Speaking with reporters on Thursday, she said: “I don’t know if he knows what he’s talking about.”
Democrats have been saying since before the shutdown that they would not accept any spending deals that include funding for the wall.
A bill proposed by Democrats to reopen the government did not pass the Senate in a vote Thursday.
It did not include any border-wall funding but instead proposed reopening the government for a few weeks so negotiations could continue without the stress of a shutdown.
Though it did not pass, the bill got more votes than a Trump-endorsed rival bill, which asked for border-wall funding in exchange for temporary protections for about 1 million immigrants.
Trump responded to Pelosi’s rejection of his suggestion on Twitter, where he said “We will not Cave!”
“Very simply, without a Wall it all doesn’t work,” he wrote.
The failure of the bills in the Senate has resulted in increased dialogue between the two parties.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called Sen. Chuck Schumer, the minority leader, to his office Thursday to explore next steps, the Associated Press reported.
“At least we’re talking about it,” McConnell told reporters after the votes. “That’s better than it was before.”
Federal workers protest and warn about safety
Numerous protests by federal workers have taken place since the shutdown began. On Wednesday, hundreds of furloughed workers staged a sit-in at the US Capitol and called for a meeting with McConnell. Twelve people were arrested.
Their signs displayed slogans like “Let me work” and “Do your jobs so Americans can do theirs.”
Some Transportation Security Administration workers have reportedly been turning to food banks and living in their cars during the shutdown.
The air traffic controllers’ union this week issued a dire warning over passenger safety. “We cannot even calculate the level of risk currently at play, nor predict the point at which the entire system will break,” union leaders said.
The head of the US Coast Guard said the shutdown meant “that Coast Guard men and women have to rely on food pantries and donations to get through day-to-day life as service members.”
Lapsed food benefits for millions, courts system on the brink, and the potential for recession: other effects of the shutdown
- The former White House aide Anthony Scaramucci warned that the partial shutdown could put America’s economy into a recession if it continued for another month.
- John Kelly, the former White House chief of staff, publicly asked Trump and Congress to end the shutdown, specifically citing its effects on the Department of Homeland Security.
- Because of the shutdown, Trump became the first president in US history to be disinvited from delivering the State of the Union address.
- New car models may not be rolled out during the shutdown.
- FBI agents gave shocking warnings about how the shutdown could affect safety in the US.
- By the end of this week, the shutdown could end up costing more than the $US5.7 billion Trump wants for the border wall.
- The government has been left powerless in dealing with product recalls, potentially putting customers in dangerous situations.
- Schools are worried about being able to feed children their lunches if the shutdown continues.
- Cybersecurity experts say the shutdown is putting the US is at greater risk of attack.
- Secret Service agents are working with no pay, with some saying that they are struggling to make ends meet and that job performance could be affected.
- National parks are facing piles of trash and damaged trees.