Trying to leverage his Trump Shutdown of the Federal Government into $5.7 billion for his Wall with Mexico, Donald Trump announces a televised speech and a visit to the US-Mexico border.
Trump declared on Twitter that he will speak on Tuesday at 9 p.m. (0200 GMT) East Coast time. The White House said he will go to the border on Thursday.
On Monday, the 17th day of the shutdown, more effects were seen. Mortgage applications were delayed, public companies are unable to get approval to raise capital, and thousands of Secret Service agents have been told to show up for work without pay.
Almost 800,000 federal employees have been on furlough or worked without pay since Trump rejected continued funding of the Government on December 21. Many of them will miss their first paycheck this week, with an estimated $249 million owed in mortgage payments. Millions of Americans may not receive food stamps in February, and there has been uncertainty if $140 billion in tax refunds will be issued.
There was no sign of progress yesterday in talks between Vice President Mike Pence and Republican and Democrat Congressional staff. Pence — whose compromise of $2.5 billion for border security was vetoed by Trump — is demanding the full $5.7 billion for The Wall in any continuing resolution.
After taking control of the House of Representatives last week, Democrats quickly put through the bill to reopen the Government with $1.3 billion for border security. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked any consideration by the upper chamber — even though the Senate unanimously passed a similar measure just before the shutdown.
To try and stem some public discontent, the Administration directed the Internal Revenue Service to issue tax refunds, reversing previous policy — but the IRS workers recalled from furlough will not be paid.
But the Commerce Department has stopped processing requests from auto suppliers and manufacturing companies for exemptions from the Administration’s tariffs on steel and aluminum. Farmers cannot apply for subsidies to cope with effects of Trump’s trade war with China and other countries.
The Securities and Exchange Commission is operating with only a few hundred of about 4,400 staff, halting investigations of securities violations, review of applications for company stock offerings, and consideration of merger and acquisition plans.