It is day 33 of the partial government shutdown and neither Republicans nor Democrats show signs of budging to reach a deal.
The partial shutdown was at least partially brought on by the inability for Congress and the White House to agree on a federal budget back in December. Now, at the end of January, a Senate vote has been set for Thursday on two competing proposals put forth by the Trump administration and the Democrats — both of which are uncertain to pass in the Republican-controlled Senate.
The good news is that furloughed government employees are being well taken care of by businesses across the nation, some of which are offering free food and drink to government employees on account of their withheld paychecks. TheDC’s Benny Johnson went out in Washington D.C. during the peak of the government shutdown to investigate just what kind of quality cuisine is available to furloughed government workers for free.
The partial government shutdown has affected roughly 800,000 federal employees — 420,000 of which are still working without pay — who can now score a free slice of pizza or cup of coffee at some of their favorite restaurants on their lunch breaks. (RELATED: NBC’s Tom Brokaw: Democrats Just As Much To Blame For Shutdown)
Despite offerings of free food, IRS workers are beginning to skip work nationwide, some in coordinated protests to the partial shutdown and others for financial reasons. Last week, the Trump administration ordered 30,000 IRS employees back to work to issue tax refunds, attempting to limit the broader financial impact of the partial government shutdown on American citizens, The Washington Post reported Tuesday. According to Tony Reardon, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents 150,000 employees at 33 federal agencies, many IRS workers will not comply with the Trump Administration’s order, choosing to stay home in protest instead of going to work.
“They are definitely angry that they’re not getting paid, and maybe some of them are angry enough to express their anger this way,” said Reardon.
The Trump administration’s proposal to end the shutdown seeks to compromise with Democrats regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, offering a 3-year pardon to DACA recipients in exchange for $5.7 billion in border wall funding. However, Tuesday, the Supreme Court refused to hear President Trump’s appeal on DACA, confirming that the program will remain intact for the foreseeable future. This development seems to deprive the president of what leverage he had in negotiations with Democrats with his promise to temporarily pardon DACA recipients. (RELATED: Partial Government Shutdown Now The Longest In US History)
The Democrats are bringing an alternative proposal to the Senate floor, which asks for the government to be reopened without any funding for a border wall. Both proposals will need 60 votes to pass, including several across the aisle votes.