Partial Government Shutdown Enters First Month With No End in Sight
By RJ Johnson - @rickerthewriter
January 21, 2019
As the partial government shutdown entered its first month on Monday, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to thank the nearly 800,000 federal employees who are working without pay.
"To all of the great people who are working so hard for your Country and not getting paid I say, THANK YOU - YOU ARE GREAT PATRIOTS! We must now work together, after decades of abuse, to finally fix the Humanitarian, Criminal & Drug Crisis at our Border."
"WE WILL WIN BIG!" the president added.
To all of the great people who are working so hard for your Country and not getting paid I say, THANK YOU - YOU ARE GREAT PATRIOTS! We must now work together, after decades of abuse, to finally fix the Humanitarian, Criminal & Drug Crisis at our Border. WE WILL WIN BIG!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 21, 2019
On Saturday Trump offered a plan to reopen government, asking for $5.7 billion to fund 230 miles of physical barriers at high-priority areas of the U.S.-Mexico border, as well as $800 million in humanitarian assistance, and $805 million for drug detection technology.
Trump said the plan would also call for additional hiring of border agents and immigration judges to help alleviate a massive backlog in immigration cases. He also offered a concession to Democrats, to grant three years of protection from deportation for undocumented people brought into the U.S. as children, and for those who have been granted Temporary Protected Status because of a crisis in their home country.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will bring Trump's proposal to the Senate floor for a vote on Tuesday.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called Trump's plan a non-starter and reiterated Democrats' demand for Trump to re-open the government before Congress began a debate on funding for a border wall.
".@realDonaldTrump, 800,000 Americans are going without pay. Re-open the government, let workers get their paychecks and then we can discuss how we can come together to protect the border. #EndTheShutdown," Pelosi tweeted on Sunday.
Meantime, the impacts of the shutdown are beginning to take their toll - especially on the Transportation Security Administration. The agency reported that many of its staff have been calling out from work because they couldn't afford to get there.
"Yesterday’s complete figures show that TSA experienced a national rate of 8 percent of unscheduled absences compared to a 3 percent rate one year ago on the same day, Jan. 19, 2018; many employees are reporting that they are not able to report to work due to financial limitations."
Despite that, the TSA said that 99.9 percent of passengers who flew on Saturday waited less than 30 minutes to be screened, and 93.8 percent waited less than 15 minutes.
Photo: Getty Images