The Government Is No Longer Shut Down — For Now

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More than a month into a government shutdown that saw hundreds of thousands of non-essential federal employees furloughed, President Donald J. Trump signed a bill Jan. 25 to reopen the government. This came after an announcement that the president would reopen the government without the wall funding he’d shut it down to attempt to receive. By that evening, both the House and the Senate unanimously agreed to fully fund the government to its pre-shutdown levels; this government reopening lasts only until February 15th, 2019.

The potential for another government shutdown depends on the fate of funding for the border wall that President Trump hopes to build between the United States and Mexico. If the government does indeed shut down once again when this temporary re-open order expires, non-essential federal employees will again face a furlough. Although these employees will ultimately receive back pay for their work done during the shutdown, their lives have already been impacted more than enough. And their back-pay might not arrive until late next week.

Should Congress and the president not agree on some level of border wall funding by the deadline, the president won’t rule out declaring a national state of emergency in addition to closing the government once more. In remarks he made Friday night as the shutdown reached its temporary end, he stated that he does indeed see the immigration issues occurring at the border as constituting a national crisis. If he does declare a state of national emergency, the powers available to him expand vastly.

The potential for declaring a national emergency is perhaps the most concerning of the potential outcomes if Congress and the President don’t come to an agreement by February 15th.

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