Senate approves bill to pay federal employees retroactively after shutdown ends

Saturday, 12 Jan, 2019

But a full resumption of government operations did not appear in sight because Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has said he will not bring the House bill up for a vote. The bill now heads to President Donald Trump, who is expected to sign it. "If they backfill it immediately after the government opens, that's fine, but I don't want that to be where that money is not available".

However, Democrats, including freshmen members of the House and Senate, have not indicated they're prepared to support the wall.

President Trump announced the cancellation of his upcoming trip to the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, due to the partial government shutdown.

One major airport, Miami International, has said it will close an entire terminal this weekend because so many security staff are off sick. "I don't know who to talk to, and I don't know what else to do".

More than 800,000 workers, more than half of them still on the job, missed their first paycheck Friday under the stoppage, which began December 22. Trump said he plans to keep the shutdown going indefinitely as long as Congress refuses to fund his border wall.

"Speaker Pelosi's refusal to negotiate on funding for a border wall/barrier - even if the government were to be reopened - virtually ends the congressional path to funding for a border wall/barrier", Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham said in a statement. But Pence, in a briefing with reporters, said the president prefers to wait for the courts to decide that issue.

Mr Trump said on Thursday that, instead of a direct payment, Mexico would be "paying for the wall indirectly, many, many times over", under a new trade deal between the US, Mexico and Canada.

The partial shutdown would set a record early Saturday, stretching beyond the 21-day closure that ended Jan 6, 1996, during President Clinton's administration.

On Friday, government workers missed their first payday of this shutdown. "The difference pays for Wall many times over!"

House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) (shown above left) introduced the four bills on Sunday. He attended a rally Tuesday in Philadelphia with laid-off workers.

Regardless of where the money is found, an emergency declaration would draw immediate legal challenge from Democrats, who have accused Trump of trying to manufacture a crisis at the southern border to justify his wall.

Trump is to visit a border patrol station and receive a briefing on border security. He was to leave January 21 to attend the World Economic Forum.