Trump signs bill to compensate 800000 federal employees impacted by government shutdown

Muriel Colon
January 18, 2019

With the partial US government shutdown now in its 26th day, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday urged President Donald Trump to reschedule his State of the Union address - a move that could deny him the opportunity to use the pageantry of the speech to attack Democrats in their own chamber over the impasse.

Pelosi is refusing money for the wall she views as ineffective and immoral; Democrats say they will discuss border security once the government has reopened.

More than half of Americans blame U.S. President Donald Trump for the partial federal government shutdown, despite his repeatedly faulting Democratic lawmakers, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Tuesday.

"I look forward to seeing you soon and even more forward to watching our open and risky Southern Border finally receive the attention, funding and security it so desperately deserves!" he concluded.

The shutdown is dragging on due to an entrenched stalemate between Trump and congressional Democratic leaders over funding for the president's proposed border wall.

Trump on Wednesday is expected to sign legislation that would ensure 800,000 federal employees will receive back pay when the government reopens.

As the shutdown stretches into its 26th day, Trump is also scheduled to meet with a bipartisan group of politicians.

The partial government shutdown is inflicting far greater damage on the USA economy than the Trump administration previously estimated, the White House acknowledged.

The speaker noted that legislation to reopen the government had cleared the Senate earlier, but didn't mention that it was McConnell who has blocked the bills.

Phillips said the group was not there to negotiate but "to better understand each other, which I think we did ... and perhaps provide a little bit of daylight through which we can walk".

Trump is particularly incensed with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's public position that she will not compromise in any way with the administration over funding.

On Tuesday, the Trump administration announced that it would recall 50,000 furloughed workers and put them back to work without pay by changing their status from "furloughed" to "essential" in an effort to reduce pressure from voters to end the shutdown, Bloomberg reports.

"Since the start of modern budgeting in Fiscal Year 1977, a State of the Union address has never been delivered during a government shutdown", Pelosi wrote. He also suggested the partial shutdown, which has clogged airport security lines and shuttered federal agencies, was going smoothly.

In her letter, Pelosi referenced a dispatch from September from Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen designating the State of the Union address as a "National Special Security Event".

White House economists previously estimated that the quarterly gross domestic product (GDP) would lose about 0.08 percent in growth each week that the shutdown lasts.

Postponing the address would deny Mr Trump the opportunity to make a case for his border wall in a prime-time televised address.

The workers will be paid after the shutdown is over.

"The President and his team had a constructive meeting with bipartisan members of the problem solvers caucus".

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