government shutdown | WOSU Radio

government shutdown

Margaret Shesky and her husband Larry Lafferty run the food pantry in Nelsonville, which serves residents in Athens County.
Nick Evans / WOSU

Just off the main drag in Nelsonville sits the food pantry, and volunteers are loading up boxes with staples for a noon rush.

“We have the cereal, and we have spaghetti, we have peanut butter, vegetables,” a volunteer says, looking over the boxes.

bananas in a grocery store
StockSnap / Pixabay

SNAP recipients who were told they wouldn't receive benefits until next month will get a portion of their March allotment earlier than expected.

Updated at 6:15 p.m. ET

Calling it "a great thing to do," President Trump declared a national emergency on Friday in order to help finance a long-promised wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. It's a highly unusual move from an unconventional president.

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.

Updated 4:14 p.m. ET

President Trump said on Tuesday that he's not "happy" with a potential budget deal being worked out by congressional negotiators but added that he doesn't think there will be another partial government shutdown.

Updated at 1:39 a.m. ET Tuesday

Congressional negotiators have reached what they are calling "an agreement in principle" on a border-security spending agreement. Details of the agreement have not yet been released. Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., says the full details will be released when the drafting of the bill is complete — a process that could be finished on Tuesday, at the earliest.

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.

Annette Elizabeth Allen / NPR

President Trump is delivering a "State of the Union" address Tuesday after a delay due to the government shutdown. Watch his speech live, followed by a Democratic response delivered by former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. 

Democrats officially took control of the House of Representatives one month ago with a promise of moving quickly on a fresh agenda centered on protecting health care and making Washington work better.

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.

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio)
John Minchillo / Associated Press

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) is trying to pass a bill that would prevent another government shutdown in the future.

Federal employees at the NASA Glenn Research Center went back to work Monday after the goverment shutdown ended but as another potential shutdown looms in three weeks.

Paul Greenberg, research scientist and vice president of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers Local 28, said Monday was a "bit surreal" as co-workers caught up personally and professionally.

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.

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.

The longest government shutdown in U.S. history has some of the country's poorest residents worried about how they are going to stay fed.

In Pennsylvania, no place has more trouble keeping food on the table than the city of Reading, population 88,000, about an hour outside Philadelphia. Nearly half of all households there receive food stamps, the highest rate in the state.

The human toll of that statistic can be found everywhere, including among the people lining up for a monthly food pantry operated by St. James Chapel Church of God.

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