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U.S. Passes A Bill Promising Federal Workers’ Their Pay After The U.S. Shutdown Ends

Trump is blaming the government shutdown and impasse on wall funding on the Democrats

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U.S., Shutdown
A U.S. Internal Revenue Services employee holds signs in front of the federal building at a rally against the U.S. federal government shutdown, in Ogden, Utah, Jan. 10, 2019. VOA

The U.S. Senate on Thursday night unanimously passed a bill guaranteeing federal workers they will be paid everything they are owed when the government shutdown ends.

While it sounds like good news, it will not immediately help more than 800,000 workers who this week are missing their first payday since the shutdown began Dec. 22.

When the shutdown enters its fourth week Saturday morning, it will set the record for the longest in U.S. history and there are no signs a negotiated settlement is in sight.

U.S. Shutdown

Democrats are refusing to give President Donald Trump more than $5 billion to build a wall along the U.S. southern border with Mexico. Without an agreement on funding a border wall, Senate Republicans and the president are refusing to approve funding for eight federal departments, leading to a partial shutdown of the U.S. government.

In his continued crusade to convince Congress and the American people that a wall is needed between Mexico and the United States, the White House says Trump will hold a roundtable discussion on border security and safe communities Friday afternoon with state, local and community leaders.

Trump says a wall is needed to stop illegal immigration and the drugs and crime he says come with it.

U.S.
U.S. President Donald Trump talks to the media as he stands with U.S. Border Patrol agents on the banks of the Rio Grande River during his visit to the U.S.-Mexico border in Mission, Texas, Jan. 10, 2019. VOA

Trump visits border

Trump visited the border town of McAllen, Texas, Thursday, saying he may declare a national emergency.

“We’re either going to have a win, make a compromise, because I think a compromise is a win for everybody, or I will declare a national emergency,” he said.

A declaration would allow Trump to spend the money without congressional approval. It would likely bring an immediate court challenge from Democrats who say there is no emergency at the border and that the president would be overstepping his constitutional authority.

Trump, U.S.
President Donald Trump tours the U.S. border with Mexico at the Rio Grande on the southern border in McAllen, Texas, Jan. 10, 2019. VOA

While in McAllen, Trump visited a Border Patrol station and inspected a table heaped with illegal drugs and weapons.

He was told most of the contraband was seized at legal points of entry — not the remote border crossings the president says need to be sealed off.

The president also met with the families of those killed by illegal immigrants.

Trump said a “wall works.” He made the promise of a wall the centerpiece of his 2016 campaign and insisted Mexico will pay for it.

Who pays for the wall?

The president said Thursday, “I never meant they’re going to write out a check, I said they’re going to pay for it. They are.”

U.S.

Although, this contradicted statements he made during the campaign, Trump has more recently said the benefits from a renegotiated North American trade agreement would lead to Mexico paying for it.

Democrats support more security

Most Democrats say there is a need for more border security but that a wall is impractical, wasteful and immoral. Even some conservatives are beginning to wonder whether it’s an issue that makes it worth shutting down the government.

Trump is blaming the government shutdown and impasse on wall funding on the DemocratsTrump is blaming the government shutdown and impasse on wall funding on the Democrats, especially House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer.

Also Read: U.S. Shutdown Can Lead to More Flight Delays

He says they are oblivious to national security and will not compromise.

Pelosi and Schumer say the president is obsessed by the wall and has manufactured a crisis, in part, to distract the country from his other problems.

They have proposed reopening the government and separating the wall issue for separate negotiations. (VOA)

Next Story

Trump EPA Finalizes Rollback of Key Obama Climate Rule that Targeted Coal Plants

The new Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule gives America's 50 states three years to develop their own emissions reduction plans

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Trump, Obama, Climate
EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler speaks with the media at the Environmental Protection Agency, June 19, 2019, in Washington. VOA

The Trump administration is rolling back rules to curb greenhouse gas emissions in the United States as scientists continue to warn countries to rapidly cut emissions to prevent the most drastic effects of climate change.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Wednesday it had finalized rules to replace the Clean Power Plan, former President Barack Obama’s initiative to cut global warming emissions from coal plants.

The new Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule gives America’s 50 states three years to develop their own emissions reduction plans by encouraging coal plants to improve their efficiency.

By contrast, the Clean Power Plan was designed to slash power plant carbon emissions by more than one-third from 2005 levels by 2030 by pushing utilities to replace coal with cleaner fuels like natural gas, solar and wind.

Trump, Obama, Climate
The Trump administration is rolling back rules to curb greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. VOA

The Obama-era plan was never enacted, however, because of lawsuits filed by Republican states and hundreds of companies. The Supreme Court halted its enactment in February 2016.

“States will be given the flexibility to design a plan that best suits their citizens environmental and energy needs, according to a summary of the new rules,” according to a summary of the ruling.

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said at a Washington news conference, “Our ACE rule will incentivize new technology which will ensure coal plants will be part of a cleaner future.”

But environmentalists, many Democratic lawmakers and some state attorneys general have labeled the new rules the “Dirty Power Plan,” maintaining they will lead to increases in carbon emissions and other pollutants over the next few decades.

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“At a time when Americans are urging us to take meaningful climate action and reduce our carbon footprint, today’s Dirty Power Plan is a failure of vision and leadership,” said Joe Goffman, executive director of Harvard University’s Environmental & Energy Law Program.

Even the EPA’s own regulatory analysis last year estimated Trump’s ACE rule would kill an additional 300 to 1,500 people each year by 2030 because of more air pollution from the U.S. power grid.

Trump has, nevertheless, dismissed scientific warnings on climate change, including a report this year from scientists at more than a dozen federal agencies noting that global warming from fossil fuels “presents growing challenges to human health and quality of life.”

Trump promised early in his presidency to kill the Clean Power Plan as part of an effort to revive the ailing coal industry, contending it exceeded the federal government’s authority.

Trump, Obama, Climate
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Wednesday it had finalized rules to replace the Clean Power Plan. Pixabay

Wednesday’s announcement to overturn Obama-era climate rules is part of a broader Trump administration effort to roll back “a multitude of health, safety environmental and consumer protections at the behest of corporate interests,” the non-profit consumer rights advocacy group Public Citizen concluded in a report released in May.

The report said shortly after Trump took office in early 2017, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) sent the Trump administration a list of 132 regulations that “concerned” members and detailed their “preferred course of action to address its concerns on each of the regulations.”

The report concluded that “Regulatory agencies have granted or are working on granting 85 percent of the wishes related to rulemakings on a list of deregulatory demands submitted” by NAM.

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The new rule is expected to take effect within 30 days. (VOA)