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The Shutdown

Pro and Con

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Dec 29, 2018, 11:08am Top

No matter whether you think the wall should be built or not ...

It’s driving me crazy that news reporters are only speaking about the hardships of federal employees and one short mention of flood insurance unavailability for loan closings. I read about how services are not interrupted yet.

That’s just not true! Dig just millimeters into the essential programs these agencies administer to find larger disruptions.

I work for Rural Development - USDA. My program is rural rental housing. My state has approximately 200 projects, with from 2 to 200 apartments. There is a monthly transaction between borrower and agency for operating money to flow. These projects are required to run close to the bone. A month’s disruption means their employees and services - like utilities! - might not be covered. They all have savings accounts but can’t draw from them without government pre-approval. Last long shutdown we at least had lead time to give permissions.

I’m not sweating for my own finances, but for the citizens who rely on us.

Dec 29, 2018, 12:18pm Top

>1 2wonderY: Is there real danger of utilities being shut down?

Dec 29, 2018, 12:30pm Top

We just completed our review of annual budgets. In some cases, I do believe it's possible. Perhaps the utility companies will be patient.

Dec 29, 2018, 1:12pm Top

A Week Into Government Shutdown, Ire Turns to Fear for Federal Workers

“So far we have been able to say that the sky isn’t falling yet,” said Joel Berg, chief executive of Hunger Free America, a national advocacy group for nonprofits that manage federal food programs for the poor. “But give it another week or two, or a month.”
Direct payments to farmers covered by payouts intended to blunt the impact of Mr. Trump’s tariff war with China could be delayed until government funding is restored, because the workers processing them have been furloughed.
The National Zoo, which is part of the Smithsonian Institution, has announced plans to close to visitors on Jan. 2. The zoo plans to furlough 130 of its employees, while an additional 191 involved in the care and feeding of animals are working without pay, according to officials.

The zoo has enough fodder and frozen foods to last a few weeks, they said, but administrators would need to tap alternative funding sources if the impasse drags on a month or longer, said Bryan Amaral, the senior curator in charge of mammals.

Dec 29, 2018, 1:28pm Top

>3 2wonderY: That's what I was wondering, whether the utility companies might consider the extraordinary circumstances as a sort of force majeure. And at some point in the past I recall that in regard to heat and electric there were months when they could not be cut off...perhaps that was in too distant a past.

At any rate, no pun intended, it's good to read of specific effects of the shutdown.

Dec 29, 2018, 1:39pm Top

Some of the utilities are small public service districts for water and sewer. In many cases, they too are financed by our agency. And they run even closer to the bone and are run by a volunteer board. So a cut in their revenues is a ripple effect.

Dec 29, 2018, 1:44pm Top

Government Shutdown 2018 Hurts Food Programs: ‘Families Will Be Forced to Make Hard Choices About How to Feed Their Babies’

Americans can still expect to get their SNAP benefits (commonly known as food stamps) in January but will likely be unable to receive any assistance from program representatives. Those who rely on WIC or food distribution programs on Native American reservations may have greater difficulty. Those programs will lose funding, and support is subject to food availability. The Child and Adult Care Food Program and Summer Food Service Program will run out of funding by February, as will subsidized lunch and breakfast programs in public schools.

Edited: Dec 29, 2018, 2:12pm Top

It's a shutdown of Trump's own making. A republican Senate passed a bill and Trump got a lame duck republican congress to shut it down only after taking heat from the likes of Limbaugh, Coulter and Fox news. Before those entities weighed in he was all set to sign the resolution which would have gone into February and FWIW he kind of ambushed his own Senate Republicans whose bill he had signaled that he would pass. Here's the other thing---he hasn't offered anything to the House Democrats who will be coming into power in a few days. One doesn't get something for nothing and at the same time his border wall is stupid. Even Will Hurd a republican congressman whose district has the longest stretch of border with Mexico thinks Trump's wall idea is stupid. The point of the Democratic party holding its ground or at least negotiating and getting something worthwhile back is if nothing else to restore the balance of power. Again won't get something for nothing. The ball is in Trump's court but it's not the same old same old and he needs to learn that. In the meantime some folks unfortunately are going to suffer but if Trump wasn't such a flake and so very ignorant of how the congress does its business none of this would be happening.

Dec 29, 2018, 3:54pm Top

I'm still getting mail. So not all the government is shut down.

Dec 29, 2018, 4:22pm Top

Yep. It's a partial shutdown as Congress has failed once more to approve funding for nine Departments in a timely fashion.

•Homeland Security
•Housing and Urban Development
•Executive Office

Dec 29, 2018, 4:26pm Top

Trump's border gulag is still up and running and killing children.

Edited: Dec 29, 2018, 5:36pm Top

Well FWIW the Post Office creates its own revenues which makes it pretty much different from other Federal entities.

They're overcrowding young children into facilities that were built decades ago for male adults being deported. They have obviously not been keeping a close eye on these kid's safety and well being.

Elections come with consequences and one of the consequences of winning elections is setting policy and governing. You win the Presidency and both chambers and you get to choose pretty much however you want to do anything at all. This border policy of Trump and at least the larger % of Republican lawmakers is all on them. Trump's demonization of Mexican and Central American people's is not a good look--it's ugly and racist. These things are going to dog him his entire presidency because when it comes to black or brown people his shtick is almost always negative somehow or some way. His border policy is very much responsible for the deaths of two young children in detention centers. Trump's obsession with a wall is the obsession of a minority of Americans--it is not popular at all. A universal health care system is much more popular amongst the entire populace--the Democrats ran and won 40 Republican held congressional seats precisely leading on that issue but this administration ain't interested in that at all which is just another signal of how tone deaf the President and by extension his party are.

Dec 31, 2018, 1:03pm Top

>13 johnthefireman: When it's a fence? ;-}

Edited: Dec 31, 2018, 5:28pm Top

DTJ would probably think you left
out the "de-" on ""fence", John.

Edited: Dec 31, 2018, 9:19pm Top

Dec 31, 2018, 9:29pm Top

BTW, I didn’t go in to the office today to pull financial reports that can only be done on December 31 and that the auditors request annually. Additionally, I didn’t associate 2 new borrowers with management so that tenant lists could be established as of the first of the month.

Edited: Jan 1, 5:26am Top

#18 While I certainly understand the sentiment, hope lawsuit doesn't let govt off the hook for back pay. Already military and DoD are paid, and Coast Guard (military, but now under Homeland Security) will be paid by executive action. If lawsuit distinguishes between 'essential' and non- essential staff, sheltering the former, it may become ever easier to hold last remaining employees hostage, denying them back pay, and risking ever longer shutdowns in future. What a trainwreck....can you imagine a private sector CEO and Board of Directors shutting down operations like this?

Edited: Jan 1, 8:55am Top

LT is not working properly this morning. I hope it’s not a portent for 2019!

Jan 1, 6:44am Top

“While I’m at the White House working, you’re out there partying tonight.”


Jan 1, 11:40am Top

>22 2wonderY:

Alternative NOAA @altNOAA | 11:48 AM - 30 Dec 2018:
"Most of the workers affected by the shutdown are democrats." - @realDonaldTrump
"Well, we are now." - Federal Workforce

Jan 1, 3:54pm Top

>23 margd:. Big thumbs up on that. I can’t imagine there is anyone left he hasn’t insulted or harmed.

Jan 1, 9:29pm Top

That’s not the way it is. Republican and Democrat politicians have used federal employees as pawns for longer than any of us have been alive. I’m deeply affected by the shutdown. My retirement papers went into the bureaucratic abyss early last month. Those papers need to be processed before my federal pension kicks in. A shutdown is a financial inconvenience, but I’m on Trump’s side. Hold firm, Mr. President!

President Trump was not my preferred candidate, but I like that he’s enduring, and prevailing over, the wrath of Democrats and Republicans who despise him for what he’s doing. Both parties deserve everything he’s giving them, and more. He may not be what I initially wanted, but it’s fun to watch what he’s doing to the Washington status quo. He may just earn my vote for 2020.

Jan 2, 6:54pm Top

DC restaurants are offering free food and reduced drink prices to federal workers


Jan 3, 5:41am Top

I sent an e-mail to the US Insititute for Peace in DC this morning and got the following automated reply:

"Thank you for your email. In keeping with the federal government operating status, USIP's office will be closed during the temporary government closure. I will respond to emails when the federal government operations return to normal."

Edited: Jan 3, 6:26am Top

>26 2wonderY:

"DC restaurants are offering free food and reduced drink prices to federal workers."


(Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post)

What do they offer those who are--even in the 'best' of times--homeless, pennyless and unemployed? What do these needy people get from D.C. restaurants? -- that is, other than: "Move on! This is private property!"

(Photo Exhibit) | "In the early 1980s, while a staff-photographer for United Press International (UPI) in Washington, D.C., Jim Hubbard began documenting the lives of the homeless." ...

(Video) "'HOMELESS in WASHINGTON' (2014) offers an intimate, shattering portrait of four homeless people right outside the White House, interviewed by filmmaker Marianne Hettinger during a day trip to Washington DC . A film by Marianne Hettinger and Wolfgang Gabler."

(Recall: President Barack Obama had "served" 3/4ths of a two-term tenure by this time.)

(excerpt: |

"Rich Man's Pudding, Poor Man's Crumbs" by Herman Melville, (published June, 1854)

( Penguin (U.K.) Everyman Library: Complete Shorter Fiction
Herman Melville John Updike, (for the introduction) )

... "The native American poor never lose their delicacy or pride ; hence, though unreduced to the physical degradation of the European pauper, they yet suffer more in mind than the poor of any other people in the world. Those peculiar social sensibilities nourished by our peculiar political principles, while they enhance the true dignity of a prosperous American, do but minister to the added wretchedness of the unfortunate ; first, by prohibiting their acceptance of what little random relief charity may offer ; and, second, by furnishing them with the keenest appreciation of the smarting distinction between their ideal of universal equality and their grindstone experience of the practical misery and infamy of poverty—a misery and infamy which is, ever has been, and ever will be, precisely the same in India, England, and America.

"Under pretense that my journey called me forthwith, I bade the dame good-by ; shook her cold hand; looked my last into her blue, resigned eye, and went out into the wet. But cheerless as it was, and damp, damp, damp—the heavy atmosphere charged with all sorts of incipiencies—I yet became conscious by the suddenness of the contrast, that the house air I had quitted was laden down with that peculiar deleterious quality, the height of which—insufferable to some visitants—will be found in a poorhouse ward.

"This ill-ventilation in winter of the rooms of the poor—a thing, too, so stubbornly persisted in—is usually charged upon them as their disgraceful neglect of the most simple means to health. But the instinct of the poor is wiser than we think. The air which ventilates, likewise cools. And to any shiverer, ill-ventilated warmth is better than well-ventilated cold. Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed." ...

Jan 3, 9:27am Top

>26 2wonderY: Hopefully, we-all can help fed workers keep it together, because unless empathy trips them up, Dems can't cave unless they plan to throw in towel for governing next two years. Amazing that while House has first say on spending. The President and Senate are playing hardball. McConnell v Obama, now Pelosi: https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/423614-mcconnell-house-government-funding-package-a-total-non-starter.

Need a go-fund-me site for providing loans to fed employees in need...

Jan 4, 5:53am Top

Federal workers -- in a panic about their pay -- apply for unemployment

...The Office of Personnel Management has issued guidance for federal employees who decide to apply for unemployment insurance. Go to opm.gov and click the funding-lapse link, then look for "Unemployment Insurance Resources."

To apply for unemployment, you need to contact the state where you worked to file a claim, according to OPM. To find your state office, go to careeronestop.org. Under the tab “Local Help at a Glance,” you’ll see the unemployment-benefits finder. From there, use the drop-down menu to find your state and the information on how to apply.

Before applying, I suggest you read the unemployment-insurance questions and answers document that OPM has posted. Here are some of the questions you might have, along with OPM's responses.

Q: Do I have to repay the unemployment benefits received if my pay is paid retroactively for the time that I was not working during the government shutdown?

Q: Can my wages be garnished if there is an overpayment of benefits?

Q: If I am overpaid, will I be required to repay the entire amount all at once?

How much money you'll receive varies by state. In Maryland, the current weekly benefit amount ranges from a minimum of $50 to a maximum of $430.

Since the shutdown could end at any time, it's possible your unemployment claim could be approved just as you are called back to work and your pay is retroactively restored. Nonetheless, if you know you'll need the money, go ahead and apply now. Just make sure that if and when you get your back pay, you set aside funds to repay your state.

During the shutdown, you may also be wondering about your health benefits. Read OPM's "Guidance for Shutdown Furloughs." Under the section for benefits, the agency says employees will continue to be covered under the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program during a shutdown, even if an agency does not make premium payments on time. Your premium payments will still accumulate, and they will be withheld from your pay once you return to pay status, OPM says.

Be careful about picking up work while furloughed. During the shutdown, individuals still remain employees of the federal government, and so certain outside employment may be prohibited. OPM says that before taking on an outside job, employees should review the regulations and consult their agency's ethics official....


Jan 4, 6:07am Top

>30 margd: employees should review the regulations and consult their agency's ethics official....

Won't the agency's ethics official also be on furlough and thus unavailable?

Jan 4, 6:45am Top

Good point! But then ethics officials must be 'essential' employees in this Administration! ;-)

Jan 4, 8:53am Top


Switchboard shut down, but calls coming in? And, I have to wonder if other than the people screening mail to make sure it's safe, is anyone who deals with mail to the White house even working? Especially as unless I've misunderstood what I've read/heard in the past, mail goes thru a different location before it goes to the WH.

Jan 4, 1:15pm Top

While federal workers go without pay, senior Trump administration officials are poised to get $10,000 raises
Peter Whoriskey and Lisa Rein | January 4 at 12:10 PM


Jan 4, 1:46pm Top

Extended shutdown of SEC could delay IPOs, ripple through market, experts warn
Renae Merle | January 3, 2018

The shuttering of the Securities and Exchange Commission during a prolonged government shutdown could ripple throughout the markets, including slowing some highly anticipated stock offerings by companies such as Uber and Lyft, securities experts say.

The agency provides day-to-day guidance to companies weighing what to disclose to shareholders and must sign off on most initial public stock offerings, or IPOs. Without this advice, companies may have to delay mergers, public offerings or even annual meetings, experts note.

“Asking the SEC to shut down is a bit like asking someone to hold her breath. You can do it for a while without disastrous consequences, but at some point you turn blue and the effects become quite serious,” said Joseph Grundfest, a professor at Stanford Law School and a former SEC commissioner...


Edited: Jan 4, 6:00pm Top

Months? Or more? What an ass!


Some previous presidents have told him privately they wish they would’ve built a border wall.

Uh, he seems to be talking to the White House ghosts now; and still lying about what was said.

Edited: Jan 5, 10:44am Top

Leaders of executive branch did not know what government does!

One finite endpoint will come when their well-heeled supporters feel pinch of SEC and IRS shutdown, and when tariff-pinched farmers are denied promised support. WH won't be moved by kids going without lunches, but surely some of their supporters will when they see the coverage?

Millions face delayed tax refunds, cuts to food stamps as White House scrambles to deal with shutdown’s consequences
Damian Paletta and Erica Werner | January 4, 2018

...The Trump administration, which had not anticipated a long-term shutdown, recognized only this week the breadth of the potential impact, several senior administration officials said. The officials said they were focused now on understanding the scope of the consequences and determining whether there is anything they can do to intervene.

... potential cuts to food stamps and suspension of tax refunds ...



With new tax regime, online forms, instructions etc. need to be changed. Apparently, not in place when government shut down... Everyone who is looking at starting tax returns beginning this weekend will be complaining to their reps.

Jan 5, 7:25am Top

>38 2wonderY: Maybe a wall around Trump Tower to keep him in?

Jan 5, 8:38am Top

Made of tinfoil!

Jan 5, 11:25am Top

Trump, in profanity-laced meeting with lawmakers, said he preferred 'strike' to refer to government shutdown: reports
Morgan Gstalter | 01/05/19

Jan 5, 12:03pm Top

It’s the antithesis of a strike!

Edited: Jan 5, 3:32pm Top

Speaking of striking--those employees of the TSA who belong to the American Federation of Government Employees Union might want to think about going on strike if this lasts very long. They could shut down air travel across the United States both domestic and overseas.

Jan 5, 3:47pm Top

Alternative NOAA @altNOAA | 12:40 PM - 5 Jan 2019:

Imagine if Obama shutdown the government until a GOP Congress passed #MedicareForAll.

That never happened. But, Trump is setting the precedent that the next democrat president with GOP Congress might use.
Trumpers should be very careful in hoping to get what they wish for.

Jan 5, 5:04pm Top

More like a lockout than a strike...


Alternative NOAA @altNOAA | 12:40 PM - 5 Jan 2019:

Imagine if Obama shutdown the government until a GOP Congress passed #MedicareForAll.

That never happened. But, Trump is setting the precedent that the next democrat president with GOP Congress might use.
Trumpers should be very careful in hoping to get what they wish for.

Edited: Jan 6, 1:02pm Top

According to govt. stats the existing fence/wall over the last five years has been breached more than 9000 times. I've mentioned the Republican congressman for the Texas 23rd congressional district Will Hurd who was one of the 8 House republican defectors who voted to reopen the government. Hurd has referenced Trump's border wall idea as stupid--what is more his is the district (more than any other congressperson) with the most miles of territory by far abutting our border with Mexico. What is more---two thirds of what remains unwalled or unfenced is property privately owned which would call for a massive eminent domain seizure by the US. Govt. which will almost certainly go through court challenges which would probably take years and end up in the Supreme Court. So congress could give Trump his $5.7 billion for his wall and it might just sit there with very little done by the time he's out of office---and then nobody will care.

Furthermore the Mexican Govt. is not paying for the wall in any way, shape or form and that should be clear to anyone with a brain larger than the size of a peanut. Trump is not negotiating for the money to cover his wall with Mexico which means he's not keeping his promise to make Mexico pay for it. That was asinine anyway. He's negotiating instead with House democrats for the money. This idea that the new trade deal is going to pay for it is a canard. Profits made from this new trade deal aren't taxes--any profits from this deal will end up in the pockets of corporations and investors. This doesn't work without the democrats. Mexico is not ponying up a centavo. Nada from them. Trump's entire shtick on this is just bullshit after bullshit.

Jan 6, 1:13pm Top

Trump says "I can relate" to the predicament facing hundreds of thousands of federal workers who are not receiving their paychecks.


Jan 7, 7:16am Top

HUD is trying to address exactly the same problem I outlined in my first post now.

“Officials didn’t realize their program expired Jan. 1.”
So just more incompetence at the top tier. I’m reading The Fifth Risk, and Michael Lewis appears to still be correct two years on. Trump appointees have no interest in learning what their government agencies actually do.


Jan 7, 7:57am Top

“A failure to govern”

Senators urge no other business in the senate until shutdown is resolved.


Edited: Jan 7, 8:59am Top

Lessig is an asshole and a moron on this matter.

"Of all the constitutional norms that this president has upset, this, ultimately, may be the most significant. And it is this innovation that the Republicans especially should check." ...

Says he! Blah, blah, blah.

"For do they now concur in the precedent that a president has the constitutional authority to insist upon whatever policy he likes, regardless of its support in the public?"

Oh, HELL YES! they ought to! That is what the Constitution's shared, divided, authority has always provided. There's nothing new in this.

"If a Democrat were elected on the promise to establish single-payer healthcare," should he "then have the moral authority to shut down the government until Congress nationalizes the insurance industry?" ...

Of course he should! Goddamn right, he could!---as though Lessig didn't already know this!

... "Or directly regulates pharmaceuticals? If she were elected on the promise to address climate change," could he "stop the ordinary functioning of government until Congress passes a carbon tax?" ...

Goddamn right, he could! All he has to do is refuse to sign the legislation--a prerequisite for all laws and acts other than those passed by Congress OVER THE PRESIDENT'S VETO!*-- that comes to his desk---as though Lessig didn't already know this!

Don't like it, Congress? Fine! Pass your authorization and spending biils by a two-thirds majority --over the president's veto. That's the law. Otherwise, you make a deal, you compromise.

That's your job. Now, go and do your fucking job!


* Article I, Sec. 7, Clause 3

"Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be re-passed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill."

Jan 7, 11:02am Top

David Frum @davidfrum | 7:15 AM - 7 Jan 2019:

Here's a good summary of the law governing national emergencies. http://www.astho.org/Programs/Preparedness/Public-Health-Emergency-Law/Emergency...

The president can invoke an emergency - but Congress can override him by simple majority vote.

Edited: Jan 7, 11:43am Top

Congress could do a lot of things-- and legally! if they could just muster the necessary votes.

Congress could act responsibly--if it chose to do so-- and no one except the Congress members themselves, no one, not even Trump, could stop them. Instead, Congress members would rather pose, pout, posture, throw tantrums and cry "the Sky is falling! the Sky is falling!" Racists! Misogynists! Russians! Collusion! Election-tampering! "He said 'fuck'!" We say, "Impeach the motherf-----!"



President George W. Bush already declared a state of emergency--remember? It was in September of 2001. Many newspapers remarked on events of the 11 of that month. Yes, Persident Bush declared a state of emergency and, as fa as I've heard or read, each president since--including Your darling vanity-project-boy, President Barack Obama--has let it stand unrescinded. Unless I'm mistaken, we're in a presidentially-declared national state of emergency and we have been ever since 11-09-2001;

"As of 2015 more than twenty emergencies under the IEEPA remain active regarding various subjects, the oldest of which was declared in 1979 with regard to the government of Iran. Another ongoing national emergency, declared after the September 11 attacks, authorizes the president to retain or reactivate military personnel beyond their normal term of service."

Jan 7, 2:56pm Top

Is this thread about the shutdown or something else?

Napolitano on Fox news today said that the Supreme Court has already ruled on a case similar to what Trump may try to do by invoking National Security as a way of paying for the wall. Napolitano cited a ruling from the Truman presidency when Truman invoking National Security tried to take over the steel mills from striking workers. Andrew went on to say that Congress could have done that because they have the power of the purse and can pay for it but that a President can't. He sees this more as a tactical ploy on the President's part.

I wonder why Trump isn't willing to spend some of his own money on this wall. I mean he's the one who is obsessed by it.

Jan 7, 4:05pm Top

Trump Literally Did Not Understand What a Shutdown Would Do

The anti-immigration right does not oppose the wall, they simply don’t consider it especially useful as a tool to reduce illegal immigration. (Because it is not.) Therefore, from the restrictionist standpoint, any deal that trades something liberals want for the wall is a net negative.

Just how long will it take for Trump to figure out that he is probably not the president who is going to break America’s long-standing immigration policy deadlock? Probably longer than he can bear the political pain that his shutdown is bringing upon himself and his party. Democrats might be tempted to hand Trump a token ransom to end the very real pain of the shutdown. But to do so would invite further hostage-taking. All they can do in the meantime is continue to send Trump bills to reopen the government immediately, and wait for the president to realize the political blood on the floor is his own.

Jan 7, 5:06pm Top

IRS will issue tax refunds during shutdown, White House says

In a contingency plan from December, the IRS noted that 12.5 percent of its staff is expected to continue working through a shutdown.

Taxpayers typically file for refunds at the beginning of the year, but during a shutdown, the IRS is typically restricted from dispersing tax refunds without congressional approval.

Jan 7, 8:45pm Top

Trump’s Best Shutdown Move Is to Fold Now

Here we are in Day Whateverteenth of the shutdown, and it’s much like the day before. Congressional leaders meet and get nowhere. Democrats insist Trump will never get his wall. Trump treats “steel slats” over concrete as a magnanimous gesture of compromise. All that’s missing is Punxsutawney Phil and Ned Ryerson.

Jan 7, 9:11pm Top

One Florida community feeling the squeeze ~

‘It’s Just Too Much’: A Florida Town Grapples With a Shutdown After a Hurricane

* A federal prison here in Florida’s rural Panhandle lost much of its roof and fence during Hurricane Michael in October, forcing hundreds of inmates to relocate to a facility in Yazoo City, Miss., more than 400 miles away.

Since then, corrections officers have had to commute there to work, a seven-hour drive, for two-week stints. As of this week, thanks to the partial federal government shutdown, they will be doing it without pay — no paychecks and no reimbursement for gas, meals and laundry, expenses that can run hundreds of dollars per trip.

* The United States Department of Agriculture provides crucial assistance to farmers, many of whom plant cotton or peanuts or raise cattle.

“The U.S. Department of Agriculture office is currently closed, due to the lapse in federal government funding,” read a printout taped to the door of a local U.S.D.A. office on Friday. “The office will reopen once funding is restored.”

* Mayor Dean recently received a letter from the Bureau of Prisons assuring city officials that the bureau would pay its utility bills, though the payments might be slow to arrive.

* At least two-thirds of the Marianna staff members sustained hurricane damage to their homes, according to prison managers. The local prison officers’ union estimated that 10 percent of its affected members experienced total property losses.

Jan 8, 8:53am Top

Some of the ways that US government scientists make our lives and our world better is being highlighted as they are forced to stay home.

The Shutdown Shows Just How Vital Government Scientists Are

* commercial fishing

* the space program

* endangered whale population

* meteorological research

* chemical safety assessments

Jan 8, 10:03am Top

National Parks Conservation Association peeved that fees being used to open parks to defilement. Apparently:

...National parks that collect fees keep on average 80% of the money they collect, while the remaining 20% of funds are available for projects for which parks can compete.

National park fees can be used for maintenance projects, visitor services, wildlife habitat projects, law enforcement, and recreation projects – projects intended to repair parks and otherwise enhance the visiting experience.

According to the last National Park Service estimate, its deferred maintenance backlog totals $11.6 billion...


Jan 8, 11:29am Top

So, I'm not for a border wall but I don't get why Pelosi calls it a moral issue and refuses to negotiate over it. It seems to me this is a great opportunity to get what Democrats want, especially citizenship for Dreamers and immigrants with temporary protective Visas. Maybe she won't get that (and I'd be against trading $6 billion for the wall for just work permits) but why not talk about it?

I'd also insist on the stipulation that any wall construction would have to abide by all relevant environmental standards, state and federal.

Jan 8, 11:50am Top

‘It’s a mess’: Low-income tenants face eviction if shutdown continues after HUD bungles rent renewals

Because of the shutdown, more than 1,000 affordable housing contracts have expired

Let's be clear. Evictions are not expected in the short term. Tenants have year long leases and their renewals are not dependent on whether the government meets their obligations.

Both HUD and USDA have subsidy agreements with landlords to pay the portion of the rent above 30% of household income that tenants pay.

Rental Assistance Agreements are annual, but scattered across the calendar. USDA reviews and renews quarterly.

The danger for these projects is that a delay in this money that flows from government to owner means the landlord lacks cash flow, and can't meet their regular obligations.

Many of these projects are not allowed to touch savings or incur other debt without agency pre-approval.

So the whole structure of this low income multifamily housing system would be endangered with a long term pause.

Jan 8, 3:32pm Top

#63--last I knew Trump was saying the dreamers legislation was in the courts and he wasn't going to bargain with it until that was adjudicated. So I'm not sure Trump and his party have offered a thing.

But another issue is when he does come up with a for real offer can he be trusted to keep his promises? and I don't think he can. You'd want to get your part of the deal either before or at the same time that he gets his.

And then again more wall is stupid for numerous reasons cited throughout the thread. The wall already in place has been breached thousands of times. There are areas where because of natural impediments a wall is not practical and then there will need to be large swathes of eminent domain seizures that are almost certainly going to be fought in the courts and that could take years. And the best of all reasons that it's stupid is that there is no crisis--the crisis/emergency he's claiming is all made up bullshit and in that Pelosi's remark about it being immoral might make more sense. It's quite obvious the Trump administration is extremely inflating statistics about crime and terrorism---not to mention how undocumented people are going about getting into and staying in the country. They are massively exaggerating the entire thing just so he can say he kept a campaign promise which he won't really because his claim that the Mexican govt. is going to pay for it is just more bullshit on top of the rest of his bullshit.

Jan 8, 4:30pm Top

>65 2wonderY: Signed the petition against punishing boycotters - for what its worth.

Edited: Jan 8, 5:00pm Top

Laura Litvan @LauraLitvan | 1:34 PM - 8 Jan 2019:

NEW: The US Chamber of Commerce is calling on President Trump and Congress to reopen the government ASAP

`The shutdown is harming the American people, the business community and the economy'

(See letter at https://twitter.com/LauraLitvan)



Stormy Daniels @StormyDaniels | 1:05 PM - 8 Jan 2019:

If you're looking for anything even remotely worth watching tonight at 9pm EST, I will be folding laundry in my underwear for 8 minutes on Instagram live.

Jan 8, 5:22pm Top

To think the major networks don't always carry these things and practically everyone knows this is going to be really loose on truth. IMO it's at least something to do with ratings. I'm not going to watch. I'd rather watch my Rangers get brutalized which is probably going to happen tonight.

Jan 8, 5:34pm Top

Speaking of the drug issue--I'm reading this book on Operation Gladio and this 30 year DEA agent complains that more often than not whenever they were about to make a big heroin bust they'd have to let the main people go because of their links to the CIA.

Jan 8, 7:17pm Top

There's one other notion that's been running around in my head and I think it needs to be said.

Since Mr. Trump became POTUS he's been spouting off about shutting down the government. He's said it over and over again these past two years and I know there's plenty of other right wing yahoos out there who hate the government and think shutting it down is what a real man of action would do and practically all of them are part of his base which will include even some federal workers who are currently on furlough or working for free.

So Trump has shut it down--but if the democrats knuckle under to this oaf and he goes away from this thinking he's won a big victory he's likely to do it again. My opinion is you make him back down or take the blame and feel the pain so the next time he might think that maybe that's not such a great idea anymore. So there are good reasons for the Democrats to continue doing precisely what they've done up to now and not give him what he wants. He's always wanted to explore this option and he took on the mantle. Well he got what he fucking asked for or at least that part of it. The shutdown is all his--let him take the shit for it.

Jan 8, 9:14pm Top

The most likely outcome seems to be that Trump will declare an emergency and try to have the military build the wall even though it will never happen, but he can declare a victory which his followers will lap up.

Jan 8, 9:27pm Top

#72--if he tries that that's expected to turn into a court battle too and odds are he won't win it.

Jan 9, 12:00am Top

Trump reads like a seven year old, for whom each word is a new discovery.

Edited: Jan 9, 12:36am Top

>66 lriley: And the best of all reasons that it's stupid is that there is no crisis--the crisis/emergency he's claiming is all made up bullshit

This needs to be said over and over again, not only in the USA but also in Europe, where the same type of rhetoric is trying to hype up the idea that immigration is a "crisis".

Jan 9, 8:42am Top

>73 lriley: Of course not, but to his base he'll have won, or at least put in enough effort that they won't punish him for it.

Edited: Jan 9, 8:51am Top

#76--there are some that are not going to abandon him no matter what. They are in the minority though and I don't see anything he's done since he got into office that would expand his base and this isn't certainly likely to expand his appeal among more independent voters for the next election. It's more likely to put them on the democratic side.

#74--but 7 year olds usually want to discover and learn and that's not Trump.

Jan 9, 12:21pm Top

Government Shutdown Erodes Public Employees' Middle-Class Security
Christian Weller | Jan 7, 2019

Almost two-thirds of families with a negative income shock, 65.5%, had emergency savings of less than one month of their income

Shutting the federal government creates a lot of economic insecurity for middle-class workers. Though the pay is modest, public sector jobs tend to be an island of relative economic stability amid increasing economic uncertainty for most workers. This security starts to disappear with a government shutdown . By making current income less predictable, the government shutdown also makes it harder for these middle-class workers to save for their future. The real economic pain now then extends well into the future...


Jan 9, 1:23pm Top

Unpaid federal workers owe more than $400 million in mortgage and rent payments this month
Published: Jan 8, 2019 7:11 p.m. ET

...Altogether, unpaid federal workers — including roughly 380,000 furloughed employees and 420,000 people working without pay — owe around $438 million in mortgage and rent payments in January, according to a report published Tuesday by real-estate firm Zillow ZG, +1.04% That breaks down into $189 million in monthly rent payments and $249 in mortgage payments...


Jan 9, 1:44pm Top

Airplane pilots union's two-page letter to Trump (Jan 2):

...end the shutdown of government agencies that is affecting the safety, security and efficiency of our national airspace system.


Jan 9, 5:16pm Top

I saw a tweet yesterday from some ignoramus who said the shutdown is showing how many federal employees are completely unnecessary. Let's hope he continues to be blessed in his ignorance.

Jan 9, 6:06pm Top

Shutdown stops federal government from paying its $5 million water bill to Washington DC

(me: Which brings up the extended question of government buildings across the nation. GSA is the contracting officer, but they administer funds allocated to the various agencies. So will the local landlords have to wait for their rent?)

Edited: Jan 9, 10:34pm Top

He keeps coming to these meetings without a fresh idea; just expecting Nancy to change her mind...

Trump Storms Out of White House Meeting with Democrats on Shutdown


Let's count the Republican Senators who are expressing misgivings:
Cory Gardner - CO
Susan Collins - MA
Lisa Murkowski - AL
James Lankford - OK
Shelley Moore Capito - WV (that was a surprise to me)
Pat Roberts - KS

Jan 9, 6:30pm Top

8 House Republicans break with Trump and vote to end shutdown

The votes by

Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.),
Herrera Beutler (Wash.),
Will Hurd (Texas),
John Katko (N.Y.),
Adam Kinzinger (Ill.),
Elise Stefanik (N.Y.),
Fred Upton (Mich.) and
Greg Walden (Ore.)

would reopen agencies including the Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service and Small Business Administration.

Jan 9, 7:29pm Top

>82 2wonderY: That makes about as much sense as saying - "Hey, my house didn't burn down yesterday - guess I'll cancel my fire insurance policy." 2wonderY, I admire your charity with respect to whomever posted that but I have none to offer. I hope his tweet comes back to haunt him big time.

Edited: Jan 9, 10:06pm Top

#84--Gardner not Booker.

#85--I suspect there will be more House Republicans breaking away the next time around. Hurd was on Morning Joe today. It was an interesting interview. Hurd's district has 830 miles along the border. A lot of cattle ranchers in his district who want access to water that a wall would take away from them. I got to think that most of them would fight an eminent domain seizure tooth and nail.

#86--Thune was part of Trump's support team today being the GOP's no. 2 man after Mitch McConnell in the Senate. He was there at the White House when Pelosi said No. I wouldn't expect him to break away any time soon. Cornyn is up for re-election in 2020. If Beto doesn't run for POTUS he could take a run at Cornyn.

Jan 10, 3:17am Top

>88 lriley: Mexico, beware: Israel built sections of ITS wall on Palestinian side....

Jan 10, 1:18pm Top

YouTube video from 2004 showing Donald Trump saying:

'If there is a concrete wall in front of you, go through it, go over it, go around it, but get to the other side of that wall'


Jan 10, 2:09pm Top

>11 theoria: "Trump's border gulag is still up and running and killing children."

It's an interesting "gulag" that has voluntary attendance.

Jan 10, 2:15pm Top

>55 proximity1: "Congress could act responsibly--if it chose to do so-- and no one except the Congress members themselves, no one, not even Trump, could stop them. Instead, Congress members would rather pose, pout, posture, throw tantrums and cry "the Sky is falling! the Sky is falling!" Racists! Misogynists! Russians! Collusion! Election-tampering! "He said 'fuck'!" We say, "Impeach the motherf-----!""

This is what it boils down to. DJT wishes to accomplish something; they wish to piss and moan.

Jan 10, 2:19pm Top

>63 jjwilson61: "...I don't get why Pelosi calls it a moral issue and refuses to negotiate over it. It seems to me this is a great opportunity to get what Democrats want, especially citizenship for Dreamers and immigrants with temporary protective Visas."

Precisely - the media should be talking about this above all else. The fact that Trump wants the wall so very badly means this is the absolutely perfect time for Democrats to soak him for other things they want; he'd earlier offered a major DACA concession if the wall were funded, and I bet they could get even more out of him than that. Both sides could declare victory (the Democrats could immediately pivot and say that, although they'd allowed a wall, they'd rendered it irrelevant by letting in everyone they wanted to let in etc.), and that's what effective compromise looks like.

Edited: Jan 10, 4:53pm Top

D.C.'s Taxi, Uber, and Lyft Drivers Suffer Severe Cutbacks in Pay During Shutdown
Laura Hayes, Alexa Mills | Jan 8, 2019

A D.C. taxi driver of 28 years who goes by Mr. Paul reports that the government shutdown has cut his daily pay by about 75 percent. “It’s hard to believe that some days I come home with $26,” he says. “Before the shutdown, I would be striving to make $80 to $100 every day I work.”

His rent of $1500 off Fort Lincoln Drive NE is due on the 5th of each month. He shares a two bedroom unit. He says that if he’s late on his rent, a late payment fee is applied. “The only way I paid my rent this month is because I’m borrowing. I’m very lucky that I could call my son this month and borrow.”

...no tourists coming in

...Despite feeling stretched, some drivers are giving free rides to furloughed federal workers and contractors who aren’t currently receiving paychecks. A Lyft driver named Jerry says he’s driven 16 hours per day over the past three days to make up for the fact that fewer passengers are out and about requiring rides. He’s given out four free rides so far. Two passengers requested a free ride, the other two he offered out of generosity.



Federal workers turning to Lyft, Uber for work during government shutdown
Tim Barber/ABC7 | January 7th 2019

...But now, some of 800,000 government workers who are not being paid are getting behind the wheel to make an extra buck.

"With the government shutdown, you have more people working for the government doing Uber, and for the full-time Uber drivers, that is really affecting us too, and our money," said rideshare driver Nate Murrell...


Edited: Jan 11, 7:59am Top

How does an hourly-wage earner being paid the minimum wage in Washington, D.C. (11.50/hour) and working a standard 40 hours/week, manage to get by on a gross weekly earnings of 460/week (USD)--or $92 per day?

Our beleaguered cab-driver in >94 margd: is normally earning, by his own account, around $80 to $100 per day (on average, the same or slightly better than the minimum wage, per day). At first glance it doesn't sound bad--but in fact, if he works only five days per week, he is grossing around $2000 per month or $12.50/hour for five eight-hour days of work.

I think many D.C. cab-drivers must take in well more than $80 to $100/ day in fares.

A June, 2016 news report estimates that there are annually 16m people taking a cab in D.C. Obviously it's not possible to exactly derive the number of rides these total riders represent. And it's not likely that the average number of riders per ride is exactly equal to "1", making the total rides taken equal to the total number of riders, annually.

But, taking these 16m passengers and dividing them (equally, which is of course not strictly accurate) among the estimated total number of cabs operating in D.C ( approx. 7,500 cabs, independent and regular cab company cars combined (2016 estimate)), then, assuming each driver got an equal share of the total passenger-load (which of course is very unlikely), this comes to 2133.33 riders per driver per year, or, an average of 8.888 riders per day (which seems much too low) (based on a five-day work-week and an annual four-week (20 working-days + weekends) vacation period). To take in an average of $100/day-worked, with that number of passengers per day, a driver's fares would have to average $11.25/fare (ride)-- or, $7.75 more than the minimum fare ("drop rate"), which is 3.25 + .25 per passenger (or 3.50 minimum for a single passenger, per ride of a minimum distance. (Note: beyond the minimum distance, each additional mile (or fraction) is $2.16)).

A driver who carried only 9 passengers (9 single-rider fares) per day and who had only the minimum fare (3.50) per ride, would take in only $31.50 per day. So the driver taking in $100 per day is working somewhere between either 29 (single-rider) cab-rides per day at the $3.50 minimum and around 9 or 10 (single-rider) cab-rides per day at an average fare of $10 to $11 per ride.

Jan 11, 8:32am Top

Trump is complaining about staying in the White House over the holidays because of the shut down. In the meantime, if I remember correctly, there were federal workers who had vacations planned for the same time period that were told they couldn't take them. Oh, and some of those same people had to go into work, but without pay.


Jan 11, 11:26am Top

An emergency declaration may be the shutdown off-ramp. But what about the consequences?
Chuck Todd and Carrie Dann | Jan. 11, 2019

...in the long-term, what does it say about the health of our democracy that lawmakers are hoping to fix a political problem with an executive power grab with major constitutional consequences? Trump’s skeptics are putting a lot of faith in the courts to be a guardrail, but isn’t this the definition of a slippery slope? And of course, it goes without saying that Republicans would be howling at even a hint of a move like this from a Democratic president.

...Until now, Mitch McConnell has been mostly absent from the shutdown debate. But if Trump declines to declare an emergency and the shutdown drags into next week, McConnell may finally be dragged off the sidelines. Yes, Trump has said he will oppose any legislation to open the government that doesn’t include wall funding, and McConnell is in no mood to be burned like he was when the Senate unanimously passed a short-term funding measure that the White House rejected last month. But nearly a month into the crisis, McConnell may finally have to do something to move the ball if the White House won’t.

And while McConnell may face the most acute pressure, Democrats aren’t off the hook here, either. They think they’re winning this fight now — and they may be — but it’s hard for anyone to look like a winner the longer this mess goes on...


Edited: Jan 11, 3:52pm Top

Zero Lawmakers Representing Border Districts Support Donald Trump’s Wall Interesting article {link below} explains the "hell with the wall - fund government" attitude of those most effected by border problems.


Jan 11, 3:51pm Top

....and more dire news from CNBC.

If the shutdown lasts two more weeks, the cost to the economy will exceed price of Trump’s wall

Jan 11, 7:24pm Top

Let's just send lots of thoughts and prayers to the border instead of a wall. It seems to work for mass shootings. Right??

Edited: Jan 12, 6:01am Top

>102 morningwalker: :)

9 Republican Senators just took defiant action to end Trump’s shutdown shenanigans once and for all
Grant Stern | January 11, 2019

...The End Government Shutdowns Act would automatically fund the government if appropriations bills are not passed on time by October 1st, but reduce funding levels by 1% every 90 days if Congress can’t finish passing its funding bills.

...introduced Friday by U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Rob Portman (R-OH), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Steve Daines (R-MT), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Mike Enzi (R-WY), John Barrasso (R-WY), Jim Risch (R-ID), and Mike Lee (R-UT).

According to them, the bill will “permanently prevent the federal government from shutting down, ensuring that essential government services aren’t disrupted and protecting taxpayers who must bear the resulting cost.”

...Enabled by a 1980 decision by Pres. Jimmy Carter’s Attorney General, it was Republican President Ronald Reagan who began the political tactic of using the veto to shut down large parts of the government when he didn’t get his way. Even then, critics accurately pointed out that government shutdowns cost more money than Republicans fight about.

But it was Republican ex-Speaker Newt Gingrich who turned the government shutdown into the GOP’s political weapon of choice, beginning in 1990 and continuing through the Clinton presidency, which was when the GOP set the previous record of a 21-day stoppage of payments.

Republicans revived Gingrich’s politics of extortion after the Tea Party election of 2010 and since then have used both the archaic economy-destabilizing “debt ceiling” and the government shutdown as their twin tools of extortion.

As the 38-year history of the government shutdown (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_shutdowns_in_the_United_States#List_of_federal_shutdowns) demonstrates amply, it’s nothing but a Republican Party weapon of mass extortion...



Interesting that nine R senators are uncomfortable with shutdown, but default would reduce funding levels incrementally (4% annualized)
if appropriations bills not passed by Oct. 1...
Might work if ENTIRE budget (including defense) was at risk?

Anna Gorman @anotherAKGorman | 5:30 PM - 11 Jan 2019:
Oregon tried this years ago when levy after levy for schools across the state kept being voted down.
The intent was to keep schools running but each year that static amount covered less and less.
Oregon eventually gave up on it.

Jan 12, 5:59am Top

>101 mikevail:

Interesting. Thank you.

Edited: Jan 13, 12:56pm Top

White House advisor, Kevin Hassett, says government workers are better off. Many had planned to take holiday vacation time. Now they get to keep those hours while still having the break.


He did, however, allow that the shutdown would have cost the economy around $20 billion in output through Friday and an additional $10 billion per week after that. The hit to the overall U.S. economy has been estimated at around $1.2 billion per week.

Jan 13, 11:34pm Top

A couple of nice stories ~

Wife of furloughed FEMA worker wins a lottery:


Canadian air traffic controllers send pizzas to their American counterparts:


Jan 14, 7:06am Top

'Like' except that buried in lottery story is one about Interior employee hit by triple whammy of health emergency bill ($$$$$), shutdown, and exorbitant cost of insulin.

(Sounds like insulin is 1/10 cheaper in Canada, though Canada is a long drive from her Minneapolis-area home: https://www.news4jax.com/health/insulin-crisis-skyrocketing-prices... Bet US or Canadian diabetes NGO could advise her if she wanted to look into it.)

Federal worker forced to ration insulin because of government shutdown
Phil McCausland and Suzanne Ciechalski | Jan. 13, 2019

“I can’t afford to go to the ER. I can’t afford anything. I just went to bed and hoped I’d wake up,” Mallory Lorge said about her blood sugar going high...


Jan 14, 9:26am Top

Passenger carries a GUN through TSA screening at Atlanta airport onto Delta flight to Japan after 'standard procedures were not followed' amid shutdown crisis

But the TSA claims the government shutdown - the longest in US history - had nothing to do with the security breach.

Jan 14, 6:17pm Top

#110--well he wants to stay anonymous apparently too. So anyone could have written that.

Yesterday, 4:48am Top

While paid on Dec 31, US Coast Guard just missed their first pay. On the Great Lakes, they work interchangeably with Canadian Coast Guard ice breakers (and emergency response)--even sharing personnel on vessels--so I trust more pizza will be ordered for land offices. Better still, DC should end the shutdown...

Admiral Karl Schultz @ComdtUSCG | 5:24 PM - 14 Jan 2019:
I recognize that there is anxiety & uncertainty about the status of your pay this evening. Your senior leadership team continues to work on your behalf. We will provide an additional update by 1200 EST. Continue standing the watch--I am proud of your unwavering devotion to duty.

Right now, @uscg members are deployed around the world & around the clock conducting critically important work for the Nation. Please know that we are working non-stop to support their #USCG families in uncertain times, especially as their loved ones stand the watch.

Checked in on @uscg STA Washington today to see how they & their families were navigating the uncertainty, to THANK them for staying focused & standing the watch as our fellow Americans expect us to do, and to let them know the Service has their backs!

I salute you and your families’ Devotion to Duty & resiliency as you continue to perform critically important work for the Nation. Stay the course & know you are not forgotten

America’s @USCG continues to ensure the maritime safety & security of our Nation; THANK YOU! Yet in this time of uncertainty, I recognize the increasing anxiety & stress you & your families feel. I continue to advocate for the #USCG workforce in every way possible.

Here's the latest information on the government shutdown for Coast Guard members, families and civilian employees. http://allhands.coastguard.dodlive.mil/2018/12/27/government-shutdown-faqs-cgma-...

Yesterday, 9:34am Top

#111--Coast Guard personnel can't just walk off the job and calling in sick would be a bit more problematic than with a civilian job. No union representation--can't retire (in most cases) or quit and subject to the UCMJ as well which is somewhat stricter than the normal legal system that the general public abides by.

Edited: Yesterday, 10:21am Top

#112 At least they're fed on the water, I assume. (Could a drone deliver pizza? ;-)

I was amazed that a USCG officer of my acquaintance, upon retirement, had to request permission to pursue a PhD at University of OTTAWA!
(His field of study was nothing controversial.)

Yesterday, 10:41am Top

White House doubles estimates of shutdown impact on GDP: CNBC
Greg Robb | Jan 15, 2019 8:56 a.m. ET

The White House has doubled its estimate of the partial government shutdown's impact on gross domestic product
...the shutdown will trim first quarter GDP by 0.5 percentage points if it lasts through January.

According to the new estimates, the shutdown will subtract 0.1 percentage points of growth each week, officials said, instead of earlier estimates that it would take two weeks to cut growth by this amount. The higher estimate was due to adding losses from private contractors also out of work and other government spending that won't occur to earlier estimates that only counted federal workers not receiving paychecks.


Edited: Yesterday, 11:26am Top

#113--I had a friend when I was in who tried to pursue a professional hockey career--he'd taken time off and attended the training camp for the AHL Fredericton team in New Brunswick--which was then the farm team for the Quebec Nordiques--so it was back in the 80's--the Nordiques having moved and who are now the Colorado Avalanche. He was denied and he was pissed about it and left USCG as soon as his hitch ended. I don't understand why USCG would have an issue with his/her going to University in Ottawa after he/she retired or how they could stop him/her. The only thing I can think of is if they had some kind of reserve status.

Yesterday, 4:56pm Top

The article isn't clear - will the IRS employees be getting paychecks?

IRS bringing back thousands of workers following Treasury refund promise

The IRS will continue to process taxpayer refunds despite the agency’s funding lapse because that money is drawn from a “permanent, indefinite refund appropriation” it can tap despite the shutdown.

Yesterday, 5:00pm Top

Ah. Nope.


Tony Reardon — president of the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), which represents IRS employees — expressed concerns about the fact the IRS employees called back to work will not be paid while the shutdown persists.
Earlier on Tuesday, a federal judge refused to issue an order sought by NTEU and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association that would have temporarily required the government to pay federal employees during the shutdown. The unions have also sought a preliminary injunction, and a hearing on that request is scheduled for Jan. 31.

Yesterday, 5:11pm Top

<115 Now that I think of it my CG friend said something about officers being in reserve after retirement. Maybe that was it. (Makes General Flynn's actions sound all the more reprehensible. Lock him up!)

Edited: Yesterday, 5:34pm Top

#119--well there is inactive reserves and active reserves. If your friend had gone through the Coast Guard Academy at New London Conn--their version of West Point--active reserves are probably an automatic if they haven't done yada amount (10?) of years. I was enlisted. Practically the first thing my drill instructor said to us--after he finally settled down from screaming insults about our ancestors and threatening physical violence on our pretty thoroughly cowed selves--was 'you're all going to find out what the meaning of the word contract is'--because you sign a contract when you enlist and at that point I was looking at the 4 years ahead of me like a convict looking at a prison sentence. Seriously though Senior Chief Johnson from somewhere out in the middle of Indiana was a dipshit but that's not unusual for drill instructors--they look for that quality. Three years later when they asked me whether I wanted to get out a year early with a general conduct discharge that would turn into a good conduct discharge in 6 months--I asked the the asker 'But what about my contract?' I would imagine officers--prospective officers going to the Academy would have signed contracts too. They invest a lot more time, energy and $'s into them.

Today, 6:03am Top

Noting this story; though the contents beg for more authorial research. The property management company is out of line demanding full rent from their tenants. USDA should be clear about that.

Some Renters Are Already Facing Eviction, Thanks To The Shutdown

Today, 6:38am Top

‘Could you make these guys essential?’: Mortgage industry gets shutdown relief after appeal to senior Treasury officials
Lisa Rein and Jeff Stein | January 11, 2019

After an intense lobbying campaign by the mortgage industry, the Treasury Department this week restarted a program that had been sidelined by the partial government shutdown, allowing hundreds of Internal Revenue Service clerks to collect paychecks as they process forms vital to the lending industry.

The hasty intervention to restore the IRS’s income verification service by drawing on revenue from fees — even as 800,000 federal employees across the country are going without their salaries — has intensified questions about the Trump administration’s un­or­tho­dox efforts to bring certain government functions back online to contain the shutdown’s impacts.

Critics, including many former IRS officials, described the move as an act of favoritism to ease the burden on a powerful industry...


Today, 6:42am Top

No Park Rangers or Food Inspections – But Government Reopens for Oil and Gas
Alan Neuhauser | Jan. 11, 2019, at 5:01 p.m.

The Trump administration is reopening the offices that approve drilling permits for oil and gas operations, a move experts say may be illegal.

As some 800,000 essential federal workers on Friday went without paychecks and people across the country clamored for the government to reopen from its ongoing shutdown, a handful of bureaucrats were among those back at work approving drilling applications for the oil and gas sector – a move that some say is illegal and possibly even criminal.

The Bureau of Land Management, which oversees energy production on federal land, has opened offices in New Mexico and on Monday plans to reopen four more offices in Wyoming to approve oil and gas drilling applications – even as other businesses that depend on access to federal public lands remained shuttered and conservation and environmental groups say their calls to bureau offices went unanswered...


Today, 6:45am Top

IRS Recalling 46,000 Workers To Handle Tax Returns Despite Partial Shutdown
Richard Gonzales | January 15, 20198:30 PM ET

More than half of the workforce of the Internal Revenue Service, or about 46,000 employees, will be recalled to work for the tax filing season despite the partial government shutdown, according to a Treasury Department announcement.

The recalled employees will not be paid during the shutdown, now in its fourth week, although all federal workers have been promised back pay when funding is approved.

The tax filing season for individuals begins Jan. 28. The Trump administration said last week that the shutdown would not impact tax refunds.

Bringing workers back into service is necessary "to protect Government property, which includes tax revenue, and maintain the integrity of the federal tax collection process," the document says.

The IRS "Shutdown Contingency Plan" says the agency has 80,265 employees, and 46,052 workers "would be retained in the case of a shutdown."

The agency will not perform audits, or other agency functions such as taxpayer assistance, during the shutdown...


Today, 8:26am Top

Gosh! Maybe these government functions and workers really do count as important... might we say "essential" to the health and welfare of our society?

The Trump administration keeps making more government workers essential, making thousands return to work without pay

Today, 8:37am Top

The SOB is taking pressure off (influential) taxpayers,
but not workers whom he has working without pay. Dems, he figures. ("We are now.")

Today, 9:48am Top

>125 2wonderY:

Aren't you lot just having a field-day making Trump out to be this TERRIBLE government-shutting ogre?!

Of course, the truth is, Trump isn't trying to keep these people at work and unpaid any more than, say, that ogre, Nancy Pelosi, is.

This shut-down is only prompted, or occasioned. by a political policy-impasse between Republicans and Democrats; but the actual ground of it is in the fact that, due to the government's formalities in budget-procedures, the United States' operating-funds are hostage to at least a two-part process--where appropriating funds and authorizing spending are separate legislative acts.

That is, the government doesn't--though it could, if it changed the applicable laws--automatically harmonize the appropriation of monies from their prior act of authorization to ensure that, whenever funds are "authorized", they are also ensured to be appropriated-- actually made available to the Treasury to be disbursed, spent--so, if the last-budgeted funds are exhausted, the government may continue to operate beyond the expiration of the last-enacted budget; this would avoid the present circumstances which leave the Treasury unable to expend unless and until Congress and the President agree on a new budget-- or an temporary extension of existing funding levels pending the new budget's passage. But it would also mean that Congress' "power-of-the-purse" and the president's "veto-power" would each be weakened in their practical applications.

Things designed as they are leave the way open for either the Congress or the President to hold the budget hostage over policy disagreements--which is precisely what is going on whenever these government-shutdowns occur.

"Each year, the House and Senate authorize each federal agency, department, or program to spend a specific amount of money, and the President signs the bill into law. But this money may not be spent until Congress also has explicitly appropriated it for a given purpose. An agency may, for example, be authorized to spend $4 billion on a specific program, but it cannot actually spend that money until the funds are appropriated for that program.

"An authorizing act is one that establishes a federal agency or program and the terms and conditions under which it operates, and authorizes the enactment of appropriations for that agency or program. An authorization for a discretionary spending program is only a “license” to enact an appropriation—not an actual appropriation. Because many agencies and programs have only temporary authorizations that must be renewed annually or every few years, action on appropriations measures sometimes is delayed by Congress’s failure to enact the necessary authorizing or reauthorizing legislation.

"An appropriations act is one that gives federal agencies the legal authority to incur obligations and the Treasury Department authority to make payments. An agency may spend no more than the amount appropriated to it, and the standard appropriation is for a single fiscal year, although Congress sometimes makes multiyear appropriations."

... ...



Today, 9:59am Top

"Each year, the House and Senate authorize each federal agency, department, or program to spend a specific amount of money, and the President signs the bill into law. But this money may not be spent until Congress also has explicitly appropriated it for a given purpose. An agency may, for example, be authorized to spend $4 billion on a specific program, but it cannot actually spend that money until the funds are appropriated for that program.

"An authorizing act is one that establishes a federal agency or program and the terms and conditions under which it operates, and authorizes the enactment of appropriations for that agency or program. An authorization for a discretionary spending program is only a “license” to enact an appropriation—not an actual appropriation. Because many agencies and programs have only temporary authorizations that must be renewed annually or every few years, action on appropriations measures sometimes is delayed by Congress’s failure to enact the necessary authorizing or reauthorizing legislation.

"An appropriations act is one that gives federal agencies the legal authority to incur obligations and the Treasury Department authority to make payments. An agency may spend no more than the amount appropriated to it, and the standard appropriation is for a single fiscal year, although Congress sometimes makes multiyear appropriations."


These circumstances, which are arbitrary--things could be arranged differently so that impasses such as the present stand-off between Congress and the President aren't a routine occasion to see the government run out of spending-money, potentially requiring it to then shut-down until the impasse is resolved--could be done differently simply by Congress' harmonizing the authorization-process and the appropriations-process and including provisions by which budgets are automatically extended or rolled over pending agreement between president and Congress on a new budget.

But you lot would rather indulge in this melodrama of government-shut-down porn by which you get to make Trump out to be some terrible ogre, spoiling everyone else's fun.

Edited: Today, 10:45am Top

Enough of this "Trump's An Ogre- Government-Shut-down Porn" !


(from : ) "Appropriations 101" | MAY 30, 2018 | BUDGET PROCESS

What are appropriations?

"Appropriations are annual decisions made by Congress about how the federal government spends some of its money. In general, the appropriations process addresses the discretionary portion of the budget – spending ranging from national defense to food safety to education to federal employee salaries – but excludes mandatory spending, such as Medicare and Social Security, which is spent automatically according to formulas.

How does Congress determine the total level of appropriations?

"Under current law, after the President submits the Administration’s budget proposal to Congress, the House and Senate Budget Committees are each directed to report a budget resolution which, if passed by their respective houses, would then be reconciled in a budget conference (see Q&A: Everything You Need to Know About a Budget Conference).

The resulting budget resolution, which is a concurrent resolution and therefore not signed by the President, includes what is known as a 302(a) allocation that sets a total amount of money for the Appropriations Committees to spend. For example, the conferenced budget between the House and Senate set the 302(a) limit for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 at $1.017 trillion.

In the absence of a budget resolution, each chamber may enact a deeming resolution that sets the 302(a) allocation for that chamber. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 gave the Chairmen of the Budget Committees authority to set the 302(a) allocation for the Appropriations Committees for FY 2018 and FY 2019 at the statutory discretionary spending caps that the law established.

Since 2011, discretionary spending has been subject to statutory spending caps. The Budget Control Act of 2011 set discretionary caps through 2021, which have been modified since 2013 by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, and the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. Beyond 2019, the statutory caps set by the Budget Control Act will be reduced by about $90 billion annually through an enforcement mechanism known as “sequestration” (see Understanding the Sequester) implemented after the failure of the 2011 Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to produce legislation to reduce the deficit.

How does Congress allocate appropriations?

"Once they receive 302(a) allocations, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees set 302(b) allocations to divide total appropriations among the 12 subcommittees dealing with different parts of the budget. Those subcommittees must then decide how to distribute funds within their 302(b) allocations. These 302(b) allocations are voted on by the respective Appropriations Committees but are not subject to review or vote by the full House or Senate. The table below lists the FY 2018 regular (non-war, non-disaster) appropriations, along with the House and Senate FY 2019 spending put forward by the Appropriations Committees.

... ... ...

What happens during a government shutdown?

"A shutdown represents a lapse in available funding, and during a shutdown the government stops most non-essential activities related to the discretionary budget. To learn more see Q&A: Everything You Should Know About Government Shutdowns.

Do agencies have any discretion in how they use funds from appropriators?

"Executive branch agencies must spend funds provided by Congress in the manner directed by Congress in the text of the appropriations bills. Appropriations bills often contain accompanying report language with additional directions, which are not legally binding but are generally followed by agencies. In some instances, Congress will provide for very narrow authority or use funding limitation clauses to tell agencies what they cannot spend the money on. That said, Congress often provides broad authority, which gives agencies more control in allocating spending. Agencies also have some authority to reprogram funds between accounts after notifying (and in some cases getting approval from) the Appropriations Committees.

What is the difference between appropriations and authorizations?

"Authorization bills create, extend, or make changes to statutes and specific programs and specify the amount of money that appropriators may spend on a specific program (some authorizations are open-ended). Appropriations bills then provide the discretionary funding available to agencies and programs that have already been authorized. For example, an authorization measure may create a food inspection program and set a funding limit for the next five years. However, that program is not funded by Congress until an appropriations measure is signed into law. The authorization bill designs the rules and sets out the details for the program, while the appropriations bill provides the actual resources to execute the program. In the case of mandatory spending, an authorization bill both authorizes and appropriates funding for a specific program without requiring a subsequent appropriations law.

Where are the House and Senate in the current appropriations process?

"The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 set higher discretionary spending caps for FY 2019, including by providing an increase beyond eliminating the “sequester” on discretionary spending. Caps on non-exempt discretionary spending will be set at $1.244 trillion, a $36 billion increase from FY 2018.

"As of May 30, 2018, the Senate Budget Committee has deemed 302(a) allocation levels under authority provided in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. The Senate Appropriations Committee has provided its subcommittees with 302(b) allocations and approved two subcommittee bills.

"The House Budget Committee has not yet officially deemed its 302(a) allocation levels and is still debating how to proceed with a FY 2019 budget resolution. The House Appropriations Committee has provided its subcommittees with official 302(b) numbers, and the panel has approved or released eight of its bills.

"For a detailed explanation of how the chambers can move forward with appropriations without passing a budget resolution, see our blog House and Senate Move Forward on Appropriations. To follow the progress of appropriations throughout the process, see our Appropriations Watch: FY 2019. "


(© 2019 Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, All rights reserved
1900 M St. N.W., Suite 850, Washington, DC 20036 )


Edited to add:

How many times has the government shutdown?

"Since Congress introduced the modern budget process in 1976, there have been 17 “funding
where funds had not been appropriated for at least one day. However, before 1980
government did not shut down, but continued normal operations through six funding gaps.
Between 1981 and 1994, all nine funding gaps occurred over a weekend, and government
operations were only minimally affected. The only “true” shutdowns happened in the winter of 1995-1996, when President Bill Clinton and the Republican Congress were unable to agree on
spending levels and shut down the government twice for a total of 26 days.


(emphasis added throughout)

Edited: Today, 11:31am Top

But Trump is the one that added the non-negotiable demand that directly led to the shutdown.

And I saw a news story a few days ago where the House Dems passed a bill that kept the gov't running at previous levels (minus 1%) if new appropriations aren't passed before the old ones run out.

Today, 11:40am Top

Laurence Tribe tribelaw (https://twitter.com/tribelaw) | 5:19 AM - 16 Jan 2019:
HAS NOBODY NOTICED? By keeping government shut down and not paying military, TSA & other “essential” fed workers, Trump violates spirit of the 13th Amendment, banning forced labor*, and of Sec 4 of the 14th, demanding that the US pay all its legally authorized debts**. Just sayin.

Cathy Harris @CathyHarrisDC (https://twitter.com/CathyHarrisDC) | 5:44 AM - 16 Jan 2019 :
Yes, we noticed. We filed suit on behalf of federal employees, alleging violation of 13th Amendment. See Hardy v. Trump, in DDC. Judge Leon denied our TRO yesterday, briefing set and oral argument on 1/31 on preliminary injunction.

* Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

** The validity of the public debt of the United States...shall not be questioned...

Edited: Today, 12:56pm Top

>130 jjwilson61: "But Trump is the one that added the non-negotiable demand ..."

Oh, you mean that Nancy Pelosi and her fellow-Democrats' demand that Trump accept budget legislation without any funding for a border-wall construction included--that demand isn't also 'non-negotiable'? Seriously?

Actually, try reviewing the details--

Below, you'll see that

... "measures included a full-year omnibus for six of the remaining seven appropriations bills, which passed by a vote of 241-190, and a Continuing Resolution (CR) for Homeland Security through Feb. 8, which passed by a vote of 239-192. The Senate has not announced plans to take up the House-passed measures." (emphasis added)

So, the Senate is also instrumental in keeping legislation from moving from the Congress to the White House for Trump's signature--not, of course, that he'd sign a bill that lacked the funding for the border wall; but the point is that it is not Trump acting alone in this stand-off. The Senate Republicans are also blocking a resolution between Democrats and Trump and his allies in the Senate.

"("Appropriations Watch: FY 2019")

Last Updated 1/15/2019

"No appropriations legislation was enacted by midnight on the night of Dec. 21, resulting in a partial government shutdown for the federal agencies covered by the seven appropriations bills that had not yet been funded for the full year.

Negotiations are continuing, but the shutdown is widely expected to last into early 2019. Shortly after the swearing-in of the 116th Congress on Jan. 3, the House passed new government funding legislation under its new Democratic leadership. Those measures included a full-year omnibus for six of the remaining seven appropriations bills, which passed by a vote of 241-190, and a Continuing Resolution (CR) for Homeland Security through Feb. 8, which passed by a vote of 239-192. The Senate has not announced plans to take up the House-passed measures.

"Since the beginning of the new Congress, the House has approved several standalone appropriations bills to reopen the government. The chamber will also vote this week on two CRs, one through Feb. 1 and another through Feb. 28.

"A 'minibus' of three bills (Energy & Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction & VA) was conferenced, has passed both chambers, and was signed by the President on Sept. 21. (Minibus #1)

"A 'minibus' of two bills (Defense and Labor-HHS-Education) along with a continuing resolution for the remaining bills through Dec. 7 was conferenced. It passed the Senate on Sept. 18 and the House on Sept. 26. The president signed the bill into law on Sept. 28. (Minibus #2 and a CR through Dec. 7th)

The seven remaining bills were funded with a two-week CR through Dec. 21st: Agriculture; Commerce, Justice, Science; Financial Services & General Government; Homeland Security; Interior, Environment; State, Foreign Operations; and Transportation, HUD. The Senate passed a seven-week CR that runs through Feb. 8, 2019, the night of Dec. 19. Under Republican leadership of the 115th Congress, the House passed an amended version of the bill, which included nearly $5.7 billion for border wall construction, on Thursday, Dec. 20, by a vote of 217-185. The president has said he would not sign the measure without the border wall funds, but the measure was not expected to pass the Senate as amended by the House."

(emphasis added throughout)


>131 margd:

"Laurence Tribe tribelaw (https://twitter.com/tribelaw) | 5:19 AM - 16 Jan 2019:
HAS NOBODY NOTICED? By keeping government shut down and not paying military, TSA & other “essential” fed workers, "...

..."We filed suit on behalf of federal employees, alleging violation of 13th Amendment. See Hardy v. Trump, in DDC. Judge Leon denied our TRO yesterday, briefing set and oral argument on 1/31 on preliminary injunction."

This is laughable. Really, Tribe's absurdities just get more and more amazing.

Never mind, for starters, that none of these employees are other than voluntarily in the employment. If there are any in bondage, held as slaves and made to work without any formal or informal law governing their labor, and with no pay at all under any circumstances-- think: do you seriously think a federal judge would, in such circumstances, have denied the plaintiff's filing for a temporary restraining order!?---, then let them accuse their slave-holder-employers of the criminal offenses involved in doing all that. That would make interesting news coverage!

The fact remains that they aren't in "forced labor" as that is intended by the 13th amendment--which abolishes "slavery" and holding people as chattel.

Except in certain cases concerning the active full-time or reserve military where some may be refused immediate leave from essential employment*, any furloughed federal employee is free to resign his post and cease working--according and subject to, if any, the terms of an applicable contract.

The notes and related links already posted in >129 proximity1: cover this:

What services are affected in a shutdown and how?

"Each federal agency develops its own shutdown plan, following guidance released in previous shutdowns and coordinated by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The plan identifies which government activities may not continue until appropriations are restored, requiring furloughs and the halting of many agency activities. However, “essential services” – many of which are related to public safety – continue to operate, with payments covering any obligations incurred only when appropriations are enacted. In prior shutdowns, border protection, in-hospital medical care, air traffic control, law enforcement, and power grid maintenance have been among the services classified as essential, while some legislative and judicial staff have also been largely protected. Mandatory spending not subject to annual appropriations, such as for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, also continues. Other examples of activities that continue are those funded by permanent user fees not subject to appropriations, such as immigration services funded by visa fees.

"Although many programs are exempt, the public is still likely to feel the impact of a shutdown in a number of ways." ... ...

How would federal employees be affected?

..."Furloughed employees would not be allowed to work and would not receive paychecks. While Congress has historically granted back pay, (n.e.: however) it is not guaranteed."* ...


* So, Let Nancy Pelosi enter a bill to guarantee all furloughed federal employees' back-pay. Trump wouldn't dare reject it unless it was bound together with elements he's already said are not acceptable. Let Pelosi guarantee the back-pay without such encumberments.

* Essential employees are paid--by law, even through the shut-down. Legislation provides for this. So there are no "slaves" being "forced" to work without pay.

Edited: Today, 1:34pm Top

It basically comes down to the President making a promise to his supporters to build a wall---not understanding that the funding for the wall and/or any other border security parameters that went with all the funding would have to be debated over--negotiated and compromised in the House and then the Senate by both parties and he couldn't get it done when his party controlled both chambers so now he's holding the government and the nation hostage when he finds out he just can't have something because he says he wants it.

Trump's never been serious about having a real debate over border and/or immigration policy. He never speaks about anything but this wall of his and he lies constantly about caravans and drugs. This wall is the be all and end all of his ideas about border security. It's impossible to take his knowledge on the subject and this so-called emergency of his seriously. Like practically everything and anything else he doesn't know squat about what he's talking about.

But anyway climate change is an emergency. The border wall is not. If we're doing more border security--it's the job of the congress to negotiate what the solution will be. He's holding parts of the country hostage because he's ignorant and wants to do something stupid. It's par for for course with him.

Edited: Today, 1:35pm Top

And Trump doesn't understand that he personally is the biggest loser in the 2018 elections. He may or may not have won a mandate for the wall in the 2016 election but he didn't get it done when he had the chance and now he has lost that mandate. He just blew it.

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