- The government shutdown is now in day 31, setting the record for the longest shutdown in the modern era.
- There appears to be no end in sight as President Donald Trump and Democrats dig in on their border wall stances.
- As the shutdown drags on, more federal workers and agencies become affected.
- Here’s your rundown on how the government ended up in a shutdown and where we go from here.
President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats seem to be dug in over the government shutdown, and after 31 days without a funding bill, there’s no end in sight.
At the heart of the dispute is Trump’s demand for just over $US5 billion toward a long-promised wall along the US-Mexico border. Democrats insist they will allocate no money toward a wall.
Prior to the start of the shutdown in December, Trump agreed to a short-term funding extension with no money for a wall. But after pushback from conservative pundits, the president suddenly reversed his position and forced the federal government into a shutdown.
As of Saturday the shutdown is also now the longest of the modern era, breaking the record set by the the 1995-1996 shutdown.
The shutdown only affects part of the federal government, as seven of the 12 bills that fund the government were passed in September. But a large number of departments are shuttered, including agriculture, commerce, justice, homeland security, the interior, state, transportation, and housing and urban development.
The problems caused by the shutdown are wide-ranging, from waste piling up in national parks to uncertainty for 800,000 federal workers about when their next paycheck will come. And as the shutdown drags on, the problems caused by the shutdown are expected to keep getting worse.
With all that in mind, here’s a rundown of just how we got here:
The pre-shutdown fight
- December 6: Congress passes a short-term funding bill to delay the shutdown until after the date of President George H.W. Bush’s funeral.
- December 11: Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer meet with President Donald Trump to discuss the funding deadline. Trump demands $US5 billion in border-wall funding, Democrats counter with an offer of $US1.6 billion in general border-security funding. Trump rejects the idea and offers to take the blame for the shutdown. The president says he would be “proud” to shut down the government.
- December 19: The Senate passes a clean short-term funding bill, called a continuing resolution (CR), that does not include border-wall funding but will keep the government open until February 8. Trump supported the bill at the time, Senate GOP leaders said.
- December 20: Trump flip-flops on the clean CR after listening to attacks from conservative TV pundits and the hardline House Freedom Caucus, and he announces that he will not sign a bill with no wall funding. House Republicans then pass a CR that includes $US5.7 billion in wall funds.
Shutdown kicks in and the Christmas break
- December 21: Trump demands the Senate vote for the House version of the CR and tells Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to get rid of the legislative filibuster in order to pass the vote with only GOP lawmakers, but the idea is a nonstarter. The Senate votes down the House version of the bill, and the government moves closer to a shutdown at the midnight deadline.
- December 22: McConnell announces in the afternoon that lawmakers have not reached a deal, and adjourns the Senate until December 27. Senior Trump administration officials also suggested to reporters that the White House would not back down on the wall, indicating that only Senate Democrats could end the shutdown by caving on the funding.
- January 1: After a relatively quiet Christmas break, Trump suggests Nancy Pelosi should make a deal. “Border Security and the Wall “thing” and Shutdown is not where Nancy Pelosi wanted to start her tenure as Speaker! Let’s make a deal?” Trump tweets.
Democrats take control and the shutdown gets real
- January 2: Congressional leaders from both parties meet with Trump at the White House, it is the first face-to-face meeting in three weeks. The president enlists Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen to make the case for the border wall. Following the meeting, Democratic leaders reiterate that no money will be allocated for the wall.
- January 3: Democrats take over control of the House and Pelosi is elected Speaker. Later in the night, the new Democratic majority passes two bills which would both fund the government that do not include funding for the border wall. The bills even earned a handful of GOP votes. Despite the bills being nearly identical to the measures passed by the Senate before the holiday break, Republican Senate leaders reject the idea of taking up the bills.
- January 4: Congressional leaders meet with Trump at the White House, where the president told Democrats that the shutdown could last for “months or even years” if no border wall money was allocated. Democrats suggested that Trump allow the government to reopen and then fight over the wall.
Shutdown nears history
- January 5: Representatives from the White House meet with representatives from Schumer and Pelosi’s offices, according to reports the talks go poorly. Trump also floats the idea of declaring a national emergency to secure the funds for the wall.
- January 6: Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney tells NBC’s “Meet the Press” that talks between the Trump administration and Democrats were difficult. “I think this is going to drag on a lot longer,” Mulvaney said.
- January 8:Trump addresses the nation from the Oval Office, giving a speech that is carried by all the major networks in primetime. The president largely sticks to previous talking points regarding the situation at the border and does not declare a national emergency. Schumer and Pelosi offer a rebuttal, also sticking to previous talking points.
- January 9: A White House meeting between congressional leaders and Trump ends abruptly. Schumer claims that Trump “sort of slammed the table” and left the room when Pelosi again rejected border wall funding. Republican leaders dismiss the idea that Trump slammed the table and tell reporters Trump even “passed out candy” to the participants.
- January 10:Trump travels to McAllen, Texas to tour the border and meet with local officials. The president once again ignites speculation that he will declare a national emergency to get money for the wall. Pelosi says Trump doesn’t really want a wall, just a fight over it because “he loves the distraction that this is from his other problems.”
- January 11: The shutdown ties the record for the longest shutdown of the modern era.
- January 12: The shutdown sets the record for longest of the modern era as Trump lashes out at Democrats via Twitter. “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,” the president tweets. “I am in the White House waiting for you!”
Digging in and State of the Union fight
- January 15: House Democrats continue to offer bills to reopen the government that are guaranteed to fail in the Senate as moderate members of both sides try and find a path to an agreement. Despite the smattering of talks among rank-and-file members, Trump and Democrat leaders keep their distance.
- January 16:Pelosi sends a letter to Trump suggesting the president postpone the State of the Union address, scheduled for January 29, until after the shutdown is over or submit the speech in writing due to security concerns. The Department of Homeland Security responds with a statement saying that the department can provide the needed security.
- January 17: In response to Pelosi’s State of the Union letter, Trump sends a letter to the Speaker pulling security funds and military plane access for a previously secret congressional delegation trip to Brussels and Afghanistan. Democrats blast the move.
- January 19: Trump makes a “major announcement” about the shutdown and border situations.Trump offers Democrats a limited extension of protections for people living in the US under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration program in exchange for $US5.7 billion towards a wall. Democrats reject the offer, pointing out that the concessions on Trump’s end are extremely limited and accuse the president of merely trying the move as a political ploy.