government shutdown

The Office of Government Ethics just released guidelines for federal employees during government shutdowns, about three weeks after the government reopened.

 


Updated at 9:14 p.m. ET

President Trump will support a border security funding compromise, averting a partial government shutdown early Saturday — but he also will declare a national emergency in order to build the wall he has pushed for along the U.S.-Mexico border.

During the partial shutdown, the National Park Service said it was using visitor entrance fees for basic operational costs. That's now changed following a congressional hearing last week by Democratic lawmakers criticizing the use of visitor fees for daily operations. Traditionally, these fees are used for more long-term or major maintenance projects.

Negotiations to stop another government shutdown have stalled, as lawmakers remain at an impasse over border security. If an agreement on funding the government isn't reached by Friday at midnight, the government could partially shut down again, just three weeks after the longest U.S. government shutdown in history.

Republican Sen. Richard Shelby, Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee told Fox News Sunday he put the odds of a deal at 50-50. "I think the next 24 hours are crucial. We could close some deals, but they've got to be good, to secure our borders," Shelby said.

U.S. House Democrats are holding a hearing Wednesday to look at how the Interior Department paid to keep national parks open during the partial government shutdown.

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.

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

The partial shutdown of the government reduced federal spending by about $3 billion and cut into overall U.S. economic growth, according to a report released Monday by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

The report says that because of the shutdown, which lasted from Dec. 22 through last Friday, about $18 billion in discretionary government spending was delayed. Most of the money will be spent later, now that the shutdown has ended.

Hundreds of thousands of federal employees around the country are returning to work after being furloughed for more than a month. Thousands of others in the federal workforce did work during the 35-day shutdown but didn't get paid.

The Trump administration promises that by Friday federal workers will be paid the two consecutive paychecks that were missed as a result of the government being shuttered.

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.

Updated at 5:35 p.m. ET

Travelers experienced significant flight delays at New York's LaGuardia Airport and at New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport on Friday due to a shortage of air traffic control center workers. Philadelphia International Airport also saw slight staffing-related delays.

Updated at 9:45 p.m. ET

The longest government shutdown in history ended after President Trump signed a bipartisan three-week stopgap funding measure late Friday. Several agencies had been partially shuttered for 35 days.

"I am very proud to announce today that we have reached a deal to end the shutdown and reopen the federal government," Trump said earlier Friday in the White House Rose Garden, announcing the long-awaited bipartisan breakthrough.

Abigail Beckman / 91.5 KRCC

As the partial government shutdown continues, it's clear that communities and individuals across the country are being affected. That includes southern Colorado and Colorado Springs. Dr. Tatiana Bailey, director of the UCCS Economic Forum, came to 91.5 KRCC to discuss the local implications of the shutdown both now and in the long-term.

Updated at 9 p.m. ET

After an at-times heated debate, the Senate on Thursday, as expected, failed to approve either of the competing measures that would have ended the standoff over border wall funding.

If nothing else, the votes seemed to spur a flurry of efforts to find a way to end the standoff. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., announced on the Senate floor after the measures failed that he spoke with President Trump about a three-week stopgap bill to reopen the government.

Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

On Saturday, President Donald Trump proposed a deal to congressional Democrats that would, among other items, protect recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for three years in exchange for $5.7 billion to fund the border wall. Following that announcement, several Colorado lawmakers in the 91.5 KRCC listening area released statements about the proposal.

Updated on Jan. 23 at 6:45 p.m. ET

The Senate is set to consider two competing proposals Thursday that could reopen the government — but probably won't.

Republicans are planning a vote on President Trump's proposal to end the stalemate. But Democrats are reiterating that his offer — with $5.7 billion for a border wall in exchange for temporary protections for those under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and temporary protected status programs — is a nonstarter, meaning there's no realistic end yet in sight for the shutdown.

Updated at 5:28 p.m. ET

With negotiations over reopening the government at a standstill, President Trump offered to back temporary protections for some immigrants brought to the country illegally as children, many of whom are now adults, in exchange for funding for a wall on the Southern border.

In a White House speech on Saturday, Trump also offered to extend the Temporary Protected Status program that blocks deportation of certain immigrants fleeing civil unrest or natural disasters.

Since the partial government shutdown began last month, almost a fifth of the unemployment claims filed in Colorado have been from federal workers.

The historic government shutdown is beginning to stir anxiety in and around Paradise, Calif. The town of about 25,000 people was almost completely destroyed by a deadly wildfire last November and almost everyone and everything directly affected is relying heavily on federal aid.

So far FEMA and Small Business Administration loans do not appear to be affected. But local officials say the shutdown is causing delays in more under-the-radar infrastructure projects, which could have serious, longterm consequences.

Our region has a disproportionate number of federal workers and last Friday many of them went without a paycheck for the first time under the shutdown. Thousands have turned to GoFundMe pages while others are selling their belongings on Craigslist.

More Americans are being impacted by what is now the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. This week, the already stressful world of air travel is feeling the pinch as Transportation Security Administration workers call in sick.

But for now, things are still operating smoothly at Denver International Airport.

DIA spokeswoman Emily Williams said the average wait time at security checkpoints averaged about 10 minutes on Sunday.

Almost 43,000 immigration court hearings have been canceled as a result of the partial government shutdown, freezing an already heavily backlogged system, according to a report by researchers tracking immigration data. Another 20,000 hearings will be canceled for every additional week the government is not operating.

As the prospect of life without a paycheck sets in for 800,000 federal employees and others affected by the ongoing government shutdown, questions are arising about health insurance and other health benefits — dental and vision coverage, and long-term care insurance.

Will shuttered agencies continue to cover benefits for employees and contractors as per usual? We've dug up some answers.

Are federal workers and their families still covered by their health plan?

President Trump traveled to a Border Patrol station in McAllen, Texas, today, continuing on his campaign to drum up support for a $5.7 billion border wall. The visit came after weeks of Congressional debate about border security that has resulted in a partial government shutdown.

Updated at 5:20 p.m. ET

President Trump says he is willing to declare a national emergency if Democrats don't go along with his demands for $5.7 billion for a border wall.

Trump's campaign for a border wall took him to McAllen, Texas, on Thursday for a visit to a Border Patrol station and a roundtable discussion with local officials, before heading to the Rio Grande.

Updated Jan. 10 at 3:50 p.m. ET

The U.S. government has been operating under a partial shutdown since Dec. 22. The shutdown, driven by a political battle over President Trump's demand that Congress approve funds for a wall along the border with Mexico, is touching the lives of Americans in myriad ways.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

 


A Colorado Springs man has been living at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church for the past week to avoid deportation back to his home country of El Salvador.

Updated at 8:15 a.m. ET Thursday

Jill Rorem, like many Americans, had made some special plans for the holidays. The Chicago native, whose legal work often brings her to Washington, D.C., was finally going to get to see the nation's capital with her arts-obsessed kids.

Updated at 4:15 p.m. ET

President Trump abruptly halted spending talks at the White House on Wednesday, after congressional Democrats again rejected his demand for a $5.7 billion border wall.

On Twitter, Trump dismissed the negotiations as a "total waste of time," as a partial government shutdown stretched into its 19th day. He added, "I said bye-bye, nothing else works!"

Updated at 11:27 p.m. ET

President Trump made his case to the American people Tuesday night for why a massive wall along the Mexican border is necessary, using his first Oval Office address to outline his conditions for ending the 18-day-and-counting partial government shutdown.

In an unprecedented move, the National Park Service has decided to dip into entrance fee funds to pay for expanded operations during a government shutdown that has furloughed many of its workers.

The decision comes after reports of degradation in the parks — trash thrown on the ground, human waste piling up, and visitors behaving irresponsibly by letting their dogs off leash or even driving off-road to do donuts in the desert.

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