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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 Administration to Revoke California’s Authority to Set Auto Mileage Standards

The Trump administration is poised to revoke California's authority to set auto mileage standards, asserting

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Trump, California, Auto
FILE - Automobile traffic flows over the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. California's long struggles with smog mean the state has been setting its own mileage standards since before the 1970 Clean Air Act was written. VOA

The Trump administration is poised to revoke California’s authority to set auto mileage standards, asserting that only the federal government has the power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and fuel economy.

Conservative and free-market groups have been asked to attend a formal announcement of the rollback set for Wednesday afternoon at Environmental Protection Agency headquarters in Washington.

Gloria Bergquist, spokeswoman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, said Tuesday that her group was among those invited to the event featuring EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.

The move comes after the Justice Department recently opened an antitrust investigation into a deal between California and four automakers for tougher pollution and related mileage requirements than those sought by President Donald Trump. Trump also has sought to relax Obama-era federal mileage standards nationwide, weakening a key effort by his Democratic predecessor to slow climate change.

Trump, California, Auto
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler speaks at a news conference in Washington, Sept. 12, 2019. VOA

Top California officials and environmental groups pledged legal action to stop the rollback.

The White House declined to comment Tuesday, referring questions to EPA. EPA’s press office did not respond to a phone message and email seeking comment.

But EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler told the National Automobile Dealers Association on Tuesday that the Trump administration would move “in the very near future” to take steps toward establishing one nationwide set of fuel-economy standards.

“We embrace federalism and the role of the states, but federalism does not mean that one state can dictate standards for the nation,” he said, adding that higher fuel economy standards would hurt consumers by increasing the average sticker price of new cars and requiring automakers to produce more electric vehicles.

Also Read- Lack of Sleep Alters Fat Metabolism, Says Study

Word of the pending announcement came as Trump traveled to California on Tuesday for an overnight trip that includes GOP fundraising events near San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego.

California’s authority to set its own, tougher emissions standards goes back to a waiver issued by Congress during passage of the Clean Air Act in 1970. The state has long pushed automakers to adopt more fuel-efficient passenger vehicles that emit less pollution. A dozen states and the District of Columbia also follow California’s fuel economy standards.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said Tuesday that the Trump administration’s action will hurt both U.S. automakers and American families. He said California would fight the administration in federal court.

“You have no basis and no authority to pull this waiver,” Becerra, a Democrat, said in a statement, referring to Trump. “We’re ready to fight for a future that you seem unable to comprehend.”

Trump, California, Auto
FILE – California Gov. Gavin Newsom addresses a news conference in Sacramento, July 23, 2019. VOA

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said the White House “has abdicated its responsibility to the rest of the world on cutting emissions and fighting global warming.”

“California won’t ever wait for permission from Washington to protect the health and safety of children and families,” said Newsom, a Democrat.

The deal struck in July between California and four of the world’s largest automakers — Ford, Honda, BMW and Volkswagen — bypassed the Trump administration’s plan to freeze emissions and fuel economy standards adopted under Obama at 2021 levels.

The four automakers agreed with California to reduce emissions by 3.7% per year starting with the 2022 model year, through 2026. That compares with 4.7% yearly reductions through 2025 under the Obama standards. Emissions standards are closely linked with fuel economy requirements because vehicles pollute less if they burn fewer gallons of fuel.

Also Read- Festival Sales by Amazon, Flipkart Violating FDI Norms

The U.S. transportation sector is the nation’s biggest single source of planet-warming greenhouse gasses.

Wheeler said Tuesday: “California will be able to keep in place and enforce programs to address smog and other forms of air pollution caused by motor vehicles.” But fuel economy has been one of the key regulatory tools the state has used to reduce harmful emissions.

Environmentalists condemned the Trump administration’s expected announcement, which comes as gasoline prices have crept higher following a weekend drone attack that hobbled Saudi Arabian oil output.

“Everyone wins when we adopt strong clean car standards as our public policy,” said Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense Fund. “Strong clean car standards give us healthier air to breathe, help protect us from the urgent threat of climate change and save Americans hundreds of dollars a year in gas expenses.” (VOA)