While many are celebrating the New Year, federal employees from nine government agencies have been forced to continue to work without pay as the partial federal government shutdown enters its eleventh day absent a compromise proposal from Congress. Since December 22, negotiations to re-open about a quarter of the federal government have stalled over a lack of funding for President Trump’s border “wall” and more broadly the difference in positions of Democrats and Republicans regarding border security. Initially, President Trump had agreed to support the Senate’s plan to continue funding until February 8th, but changed his mind following backlash from the more conservative members of his party in the House.
House Democrats have already created a plan to end the partial shutdown that is expected to pass upon them taking control of the House January 3rd. This plan includes approval of six full-year appropriations bills with new spending totals and a continuing resolution for the Department of Homeland Security funding until February 8th. However, the short-term proposal maintains current border security funding at $1.3 billion, shy of President Trump’s $5 billion request, and can be used for fencing and border barrier repairs. Without more “wall” funding President Trump is likely to reject the proposal, and Senate Republicans will not take up the legislation if the President does not approve. The politicization of border security and deepening polarity in Congress has made compromise challenging—we’ll keep tracking as any significant developments unfold this week.
To all of our readers, we wish you a Happy and Healthy New Year!