As of Friday, this government shutdown will be tied for the longest in U.S. history, and there’s no sign of the impasse breaking.
Trump met with Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer Thursday but walked out — he literally said “bye-bye” after the Dems said they wouldn’t give him border wall funding, according to one Democratic aide.
Here’s a breakdown of where things stand after 20 days:
The politics may be shifting
- Democrats in the House have now passed two spending bills that would have reopened the government. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hasn’t brought them to a vote in the Senate — he’s said repeatedly that he won’t pass a bill that the president won’t sign.
- Eight Republicans voted for the second House bill, per the Washington Post, breaking ranks with the president. Some of them are saying that Trump has lost his credibility and that they can’t negotiate a budget on behalf of a president who doesn’t seem to know what he wants.
- Some Democrats are starting to say they’d make a deal with Trump that includes funding for a border wall, VICE News reported earlier this week. But that’s unlikely to happen.
- Republicans in the Senate are quietly meeting to discuss solutions to the impasse that would give Democrats things they’ve long sought — like help for DACA recipients and other programs to help immigrants.
- The shutdown may be hurting Trump’s popularity. According to early polling, a near-majority of Americans blame him for the shutdown.
The impact is getting a lot worse
- As the stalemate in Washington drags on, 800,000 government workers are without pay during the shutdown — and the shutdown’s effects are starting to hurt local businesses in D.C., whose clientele is made up mostly of government employees.
- Some of the workers, including a few who work for Customs and Border Patrol, have sued the government to try to get paid. Others are protesting outside the White House.
- The government, meanwhile, is advising Coast Guard workers to become “mystery shoppers” or have garage sales to supplement their income.
- And workers are still owed back pay from the last long government shutdown, in 2013. The government doesn’t know exactly how much it owes them.
- The work of this domestic violence shelter is grinding to a halt as the government shutdown continues for a third week.
Trump, meanwhile, is heading to the border Thursday. Speaking about his prospects for declaring a national emergency to secure border wall funding, Trump told reporters: “Probably I will do it. I would almost say definitely.”
Experts said the president has the right to do that — but would almost certainly face a legal crisis if he did.
Cover image: President Donald Trump pauses while speaking to the media as he leaves the White House, Thursday Jan. 10, 2019, in Washington, en route for a trip to the border in Texas as the government shutdown continues. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)