Government shutdown continues, Rep. John Lewis on democracy

Government shutdown continues, Rep. John Lewis on democracy

Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), January 4, 2019, (Photo ©2019 Doug Christian)
Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), January 4, 2019, (Photo ©2019 Doug Christian)


CAPITOL HILL – On day 16 of the partial government shutdown, pressure begins to mount on lawmakers to find a solution to the funding impasse between Congress and President Donald Trump. Already 2 GOP senators, Cory Gardner from Colorado and Susan Collins from Maine, are saying publicly that the shutdown should end.

Democratic leadership on the House side are presenting separate incremental funding bills to the Senate so that Senate Republicans are forced to link denial of border wall funding to shuttering nine federal agencies and delaying pay to almost 420,000 workers.

Those agencies include:

  • Department of the Treasury
  • Department of Agriculture
  • Homeland Security Department
  • Department of the Interior
  • Department of State
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Department of Transportation
  • Department of Commerce
  • Department of Justice

Specifically, this means that more than 41,000 federal law enforcement and correctional officers from the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and thousands of other law enforcement and correctional officers will work without pay.

Most Department of Homeland Security employees, including 42,000 Coast Guard employees, will also be delayed pay indefinitely.

And 54,000 employees from Customs and Border Protection — those agents who are working to secure the southern U.S. border — are working without paychecks.

Also 5,000 Forest Service firefighters and 3,600 National Weather Service forecasters will work without paychecks.

Looking forward, TMN asked Rep. John Lewis about Democrats taking the majority in the House of Representatives:

(Audio: Rep. John Lewis says our democracy has been threatened from within and from without.)

Doug Christian, Capitol Hill

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