government shutdown | KERA News

government shutdown

Spending negotiators may have reached an agreement on an outline to avoid a government shutdown, but the final legislation is still incomplete less than three days before the Friday deadline.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives offices in Washington, D.C.
A.C. Valdez / Guns & America

After the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, government investigators and contractors who process firearms dealer and special weapons licenses are staring at an application backlog that likely runs into the tens of thousands. As the possibility of another shutdown looms, so, too, does the the likelihood of that backlog increasing exponentially.

Updated at 1:39 a.m. ET Tuesday

Congressional negotiators have reached what they are calling "an agreement in principle" on a border-security spending agreement. Details of the agreement have not yet been released. Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., says the full details will be released when the drafting of the bill is complete — a process that could be finished on Tuesday, at the earliest.

From left, Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., speak with reporters after a briefing with officials about the US-Mexico border, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019.
Associated Press

Congressional bargainers seem close to clinching a border security agreement that would avert a fresh government shutdown, with leaders of both parties voicing optimism and the top GOP negotiator saying he believes President Donald Trump would back the emerging accord.

Updated at 2:05 p.m. ET

President Trump will deliver his second State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday night. He's expected to deliver a bipartisan message themed around "choosing greatness," while outlining what the White House calls a "policy agenda both parties can rally behind."

The most important political issues of the past year will be on display Tuesday night, not only in what President Trump says in his State of the Union address but in who will be in the audience.

Furloughed federal workers, Border Patrol agents, immigrants, school shooting survivors and the first inmate to benefit from a new criminal justice law will be among those to gather in the chamber of the U.S. House.

In this Jan. 30, 2018 file photo, President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capito
Associated Press

President Donald Trump is scheduled to deliver his 2019 State of the Union address at 8 p.m. Central on Tuesday, Feb. 5. 

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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

National park visitors cut new trails in sensitive soil. They pried open gates while no one was watching. They found bathrooms locked, so they went outside. One off-roader even mowed down an iconic twisted-limbed Joshua tree in California.

Hundreds of thousands of federal workers received their first partial paychecks this week as the government reopened Monday after a 35-day partial shutdown.

Some 400,000 workers had been furloughed, and another 400,000 had been on the job but were not getting paid.

While the financial costs for those workers were high, the shutdown also took a heavy toll on employee morale. And it may have the longer-term impact of making it more difficult to bring new people into the government.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., speaks to reporters at the Capitol in Washington. Negotiators are hopeful of an agreement as they officially kick off talks on a homeland security spending bill that has been trapped in a stalemate over Presid
Associated Press

Capitol Hill negotiators are hopeful of an agreement as they officially kick off talks Wednesday on a homeland security spending bill stalled over funding for President Donald Trump's proposed border wall.

With the government reopened — at least for now — following a 35-day partial government shutdown, President Trump's State of the Union address has been rescheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 5.

In a letter sent to the president on Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., wrote that the two had agreed upon the new date next week, after she had postponed her original offer of Jan. 29 amid the shutdown.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has invited the president to give his State of the Union Address after the shutdown delay.
Associated Press

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has issued a new invitation to President Donald Trump to give his State of the Union speech on Feb. 5.

A new government report says that the U.S. budget deficit is set to hit $897 billion this year and predicts that economic growth will slow as the effects of President Donald Trump's tax cut on business investment begin to drop off.
Associated Press

The federal government shutdown will cause slight permanent harm to the economy — about $3 billion — according to a report Monday by the Congressional Budget Office.

The report says the five-week shutdown has slowed growth in the near term but that most of the lost growth "will eventually be recovered."

The longest government shutdown in U.S. history is finally over.

The government is back open — at least until Feb. 15 — after President Trump announced Friday that he would be in favor of opening and funding it for three weeks while he and congressional negotiators try to work out a broader deal on immigration and border security. Congress then quickly acted to reopen the government Friday evening.

There are no two ways about it — Trump caved.

The official start of the tax filing season is Monday but the disruption from the partial shutdown and the recent absence of a large contingent of recalled IRS employees mean the possibility of delayed tax refunds.
Associated Press

The IRS' workforce will return to full strength under the short-term deal to reopen the government struck Friday by President Donald Trump and congressional leaders. But the disruption from the partial shutdown and the recent absence of a large contingent of recalled IRS employees mean the possibility of delayed tax refunds.

President Donald Trump speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House on Friday.
Associated Press

Yielding to mounting pressure and growing disruption, President Donald Trump and congressional leaders on Friday reached a short-term deal to reopen the government for three weeks while negotiations continue over the president's demands for money to build his long-promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.

A sign directs passengers to different terminals inside the closed Terminal B at George Bush Intercontinental Airport  Jan. 15 in Houston. The security checkpoint inside the terminal has been closed for several days.
Associated Press

With many federal workers in Texas having been without a paycheck during the 35-day partial government shutdown, local organizations and agencies are continuing to help. Though President Donald Trump promised back pay during his address Friday, furloughed workers are still in need. 

Benny Snyder / Associated Press

Got canned goods? Laundry detergent? Dallas Love Field Airport needs your help. 

Through Feb. 1, the airport plans to collect non-perishable food and toiletries to help furloughed federal workers still without pay due to the partial government shutdown. 

The Federal Aviation Administration reported delays in air travel Friday because of a "slight increase in sick leave" at two East Coast air traffic control facilities, including LaGuardia Airport in New York.
Associated Press

The Federal Aviation Administration reported delays in air travel Friday because of a "slight increase in sick leave" at two East Coast air traffic control facilities.

The delays come as a partial government shutdown threatens to undermine the nation's air travel system. Air traffic controllers and airport security agents have been working without pay since the federal shutdown began in December, but high absentee rates raise the possibility of long airport lines, or even worse.

Passengers wait to pass through a Transportation Security Administration checkpoint at LaGuardia airport Jan. 7.
Associated Press

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the federal government shutdown is impacting safety and security at airports and putting travelers at risk.

The Democrat wrote to Republican President Donald Trump on Friday demanding that he reopen government immediately. 

For government workers who haven't been paid in more than a month, the shutdown is feeling increasingly dire. Savings are drying up; bills are coming due.

The people of Oakdale, La., are among those feeling the pressure. The city of about 8,000 is in the middle of the state — more than three hours' drive from New Orleans or Houston.

A federal prison there was one of the most reliable employers, providing good salaries and benefits. The typical family in Oakdale has an income of about $30,000 a year. The starting salary at the prison is about $35,000.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., steps out of the chamber prior to a vote Thursday on ending the partial government shutdown.
Associated Press

Senate Democrats have blocked President Donald Trump's request for $5.7 billion to construct his long-sought wall along the U.S-Mexico border, as a partial government shutdown continues for a 34th day.

This time last week, Ricardo, a furloughed federal employee from San Antonio, was sitting at home wondering when the partial government shutdown would end.

Tuesday, he spent the day substitute teaching 21 fifth graders.

 


Trump Seeks Action To Stop Surprise Medical Bills

Jan 24, 2019

President Trump instructed administration officials Wednesday to investigate how to prevent surprise medical bills, broadening his focus on drug prices to include other issues of price transparency in health care.

Flanked by patients and other guests invited to the White House to share their stories of unexpected and outrageous bills, Trump directed his health secretary, Alex Azar, and labor secretary, Alex Acosta, to work on a solution, several attendees said.

American Airlines said Thursday that it earned a fourth-quarter profit of $319 million, slightly higher than analysts expected, as strong travel demand helped the carrier overcome higher fuel prices.

American's shares rose 6 percent in morning trading.

One city that is particularly worried about the partial government shutdown? Atlanta, which is set to host Super Bowl LIII on Feb. 3. The city’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport — the world’s busiest — potentially faces a stiff logistical test coming while the government is not fully open.

The White House is moving forward with plans for President Donald Trump to deliver his State of the Union speech Jan. 29.
Associated Press

The White House is moving forward with plans for President Donald Trump to deliver his State of the Union speech next week in front of a joint session of Congress — despite a letter from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi requesting he delay it.

Anthony Cave / KERA News

Minnie's Food Pantry in Plano is usually closed on Monday. But in the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, pantry founder Cheryl Jackson opened her doors to feed furloughed federal workers still without paychecks because of the partial government shutdown.

As the longest government shutdown in U.S. history stretches into a fifth week, millions of poor Americans who depend on food and rental assistance, like Doris Cochran, are becoming increasingly worried about the future.
Associated Press

Doris Cochran, a disabled mother of two young boys, is stockpiling canned foods these days, filling her shelves with noodle soup, green beans, peaches and pears — anything that can last for months or even years. Her pantry looks as though she's preparing for a winter storm. But she's just trying to make sure her family won't go hungry if her food stamps run out.

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