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Government shuts down, budget talks ongoing

by Lynde Langdon
Posted 12/22/18, 08:59 am

Portions of the U.S. government shut down overnight Friday after lawmakers and the president failed to reach a budget deal. The House on Thursday approved a funding plan that met President Donald Trump’s demand of at least $5 billion for a border wall, but Senate Republicans don’t have the 60 votes required to pass the bill. Negotiations are underway Saturday morning in Washington, and both the House and Senate have called rare weekend sessions in hopes of approving a solution. In a memo to agency heads late Friday, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said administration officials were “hopeful that this lapse in appropriations will be of short duration.”

The shutdown affects about 800,000 employees at nine of 15 Cabinet-level departments and dozens of agencies, including the departments of Agriculture, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, State, and Transportation. Roughly 420,000 workers were deemed essential and will work without pay, while 380,000 will be furloughed. Essential workers are expected to receive back pay when the government reopens. Those being furloughed include nearly everyone at NASA and 52,000 workers at the Internal Revenue Service. About 8 in 10 employees of the National Park Service will stay home, and many parks were expected to close.

In a joint statement, Senate Minority Leader Church Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said the shutdown resulted from a “temper tantrum” by Trump. The president said Friday that “this is our only chance that we’ll ever have” to get the needed money for border security. Promises of building a wall and improving immigration enforcement were crucial elements of Trump’s campaign and continue to be high priorities for his conservative supporters. Democrats will take control of the House on Jan. 3, and they oppose major funding for wall construction.

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Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital’s managing editor and reports on popular and fine arts. She lives in Wichita, Kan., with her husband and two daughters. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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  • DAD
    Posted: Sat, 12/22/2018 02:38 pm

    DAD Senate Minority Leader Church Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.,  have caused the sutdown against the will of the people.

  • John Kloosterman
    Posted: Sat, 12/22/2018 02:45 pm

    Trump said, on public television, that he would be proud to shut down the government over border security.  The democrats presented him with a compromise of partial funding for the wall.  He refused it.  The Senate presented him with a stopgap bill that had partial funding and would give Congress time to work something out.  He refused that too.  If you want, you can try to argue that border security is worth shutting down the government.  But Trump promised he'd do this, and this is on him.

  • DAD
    Posted: Sat, 12/22/2018 02:40 pm


    "Accusing President Trump of "throwing a temper tantrum," such a disrespectful comment.

  • nevertheless
    Posted: Sun, 12/23/2018 06:38 am

    The American people would benefit enormously from large portions of the Government shutting down. Some news outlets have been using the headline "Partial Shutdown of Government", which is a more accurate description ... why hasn't WORLD done so? Immigration is the pivotal political issue of our age. Some in the media want to paint the President's intransigence as resulting from his lack of character; it is, rather, a result of his being correct on an issue of national importance.

  • John Kloosterman
    Posted: Sun, 12/23/2018 10:36 am

    How is immigration "the pivotal issue?"  Immigration is at its lowest point in years, much lower than it was when Reagan welcomed immigrants.  Immigrants are largely here looking for work; if there's no work, they don't have any reason to come.  If, as so many conservatives say, the only real problem is that they haven't followed the proper legal framework to immigrate (and thus are undocumented), why don't we make the immigration process simpler and quicker?  Make it easier for people to apply for citizenship and we end up with more citzens--more taxpayers.

  •  Brendan Bossard's picture
    Brendan Bossard
    Posted: Sun, 12/23/2018 08:30 pm

    I am praying for those who are going to have a difficult Christmas due to this impasse.