Reuters: House passes bill to reopen some agencies shut down in wall fight11 January 2019 | 23:02 | FOCUS News Agency
But a full resumption of government operations at those agencies did not appear in sight. The Senate adjourned for the weekend without taking action, and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has said he will not bring the House bill up for a vote. Republicans who control the Senate have so far stood with Trump and insisted that any spending bills include money for his wall.
The House bill, which passed 240-179 with only 10 Republicans supporting it, would restore funding for the Interior Department and the Environmental Protection Agency, two of the agencies that have been without funding since Dec. 22 amid the standoff over the proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. The $35.9 billion bill provides $6 billion more than Trump requested.
Facing the prospect of the longest U.S. government shutdown in history, Trump has said he might declare a national emergency to bypass Congress to get funding for his wall, which was a central promise of his 2016 presidential campaign.
Some 800,000 federal workers did not receive paychecks that would have gone out on Friday. Some have resorted to selling their possessions or posting appeals on online fundraising outlets to help pay their bills.
“Most of them are living from paycheck to paycheck and now they approach this day on Friday having moved from paycheck to no check,” Democratic Representative Elijah Cummings said in debate on the House floor.
The head of the U.S. Secret Service, which is responsible for protecting Trump, warned employees that financial stress can lead to depression and anxiety. “Keep an eye out for warning signs of trouble,” Director R.D. “Tex” Alles wrote in a memo seen by Reuters.
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