(Bloomberg) -- The partial government shutdown stretched into its 21st day, tying the record for the longest. Judges, law enforcement officers, NASA engineers, weather forecasters and office staff were among some 800,000 federal workers who missed their first paychecks on Friday.
Puerto Rico Governor Slams Diverting Disaster Aid (10:26 a.m.)
Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello slammed a plan circulating within the Trump administration to build a border wall with money Congress appropriated to assist in the recovery from hurricanes in Puerto Rico and Texas and wildfires in California.
“No wall should be funded on the pain and suffering of US citizens who have endured tragedy and loss through a natural disaster,” Rossello said in a tweet. “This includes those citizens that live in CA, TX, PR, VI and other jurisdictions. Today it’s us, tomorrow it could be you.”
Trump has said he has an “absolute right” to invoke emergency powers to build the border wall. That authority allows Trump to divert portions of the defense budget to new purposes in some cases, including funding for Army civil works projects.
The White House has directed the Army Corps of Engineers to examine a February 2018 emergency spending bill, which included disaster relief for Puerto Rico and other areas, to see what funds could be diverted to a border wall, according to a congressional aide who asked for anonymity to discuss private briefings by the administration.
Here’s What Happened Thursday:
- Vice President Mike Pence publicly rejected a push by Senate Republican moderates to entice Democrats with a deal that would protect young undocumented immigrants from deportation in addition to funding a border wall.
- Trump told Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Thursday that he would “see what happens over the next few days” but would “likely” invoke emergency powers if he doesn’t reach a deal with Democrats.
- The Democrat-controlled House passed bills to reopen the Agriculture Department and Food and Drug Administration, as well as the departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development. Only 10 Republicans backed the Agriculture bill and 12 GOP members voted for the Transportation-HUD measure.
- Trump canceled his planned trip to the Davos annual gathering of global financial elites later this month, citing the shutdown.
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