Friday News Roundup - Domestic
The longest partial government shutdown in history lurched through its fourth week as President Trump ordered thousands more federal workers to return to work without pay.
Only about 25% of the government was affected by the shutdown to begin with since Congress had already funded the Pentagon and other agencies. But there are a growing number of essential tasks performed by that quarter, which includes the Department of Justice, the Treasury Department and the Department of Homeland Security, among others. All have been working without pay.
While the president doubled down on demanding funding for the border wall, those protecting our maritime boundaries took a huge loss. On Tuesday, the Coast Guard’s 42,000 members did not receive their regular paycheck due to the partial shutdown — marking the first time members of the Armed Forces were not paid during a shutdown.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, asked President Trump to postpone his State of the Union until the government reopens, in part because the Secret Service has not been funded since the shutdown began.
“Sadly, given the security concerns and unless government re-opens this week, I suggest that we work together to determine another suitable date after government has re-opened for this address or for you to consider delivering your State of the Union address in writing to the Congress on January 29th,” Pelosi wrote in the letter to Trump.
Rapper Cardi B took to Instagram to share her take on the shutdown, imploring her followers to take action. “Our country is in a hellhole right now. All for a wall,” she said.
When will the partial shutdown end?
According to The Washington Post, here are President Trump’s options:
Meanwhile, William Barr, the president’s pick for attorney general, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee. As Barr fielded questions about a range of issues, Democrats on the panel sought a definitive understanding of his stance on the Mueller probe.
Senator Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, told reporters:
So despite the fact that there were some nice words at the hearing, we do not have the kind of strong, clear commitments to the report being issued and there being no interference in the investigation that are needed, particularly now with President Trump treating the Justice Department as he has.
Who is William Barr, and how strong is his allegiance to the president?
We’ll get to all that and more on the Friday News Roundup.
Text by Kathryn Fink.
Molly Ball, National political correspondent, TIME; political analyst, CNN; @mollyesque
Asma Khalid, Political reporter, NPR; @asmamk
For more, visit https://the1a.org.
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