Government

TEXAS: Unpaid NASA Employees Asked To Scrub Toilets

The Houston Chronicle reports: The 200 employees at NASA’s Johnson Space Center being asked to work without pay as shutdown surpasses the one month mark now are being asked to do something else for free: clean the bathrooms. A NASA manager tweeted Thursday a photo of a sign asking for volunteers to clean up the bathrooms once a week until …

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WH Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow: Federal Employees Are “Working For Free” Out Of Allegiance To Trump

The Hill reports: President Trump’s top economic advisor on Thursday said federal employees were “volunteering” to work amid the partial government shutdown in part because of their “allegiance to President Trump.” “They honor us and they do it because of their love for their country and the office of the presidency and presumably their allegiance to President Trump,” National Economic …

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Both Senate Votes To Reopen Government Fail To Pass, Six Republicans Voted For Plan Offered By Democrats

Axios reports: The Republican-backed Senate proposal to reopen the government, which included $5.7 billion to fund President Trump’s border wall, failed to garner the 60 votes needed in a procedural vote Thursday to advance the measure. The final tally for the Republican proposal was 50-47. Republican Sens. Mike Lee (Utah) and Tom Cotton (Ark.) — an immigration hardliner — voted …

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WH Readies For Shutdown To Continue For Months

The Washington Post reports: White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney has pressed agency leaders to provide him with a list of the highest-impact programs that will be jeopardized if the shutdown continues into March and April, people familiar with the directive said. Mulvaney wants the list no later than Friday, these people said, and it’s the firmest evidence …

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Former Pharma Lobbyist To Be Top WH Policy Aide

Politico reports: The White House is expected to soon name Joe Grogan as the next head of its Domestic Policy Council, two sources with knowledge of the decision told POLITICO. The move would elevate Grogan, a top Office of Management and Budget health care official and ally of acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, to a role that …

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Pelosi Rejects Trump’s Wall Proposal As A “Non-Starter”

Reuters reports: U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Saturday said an upcoming proposal by President Donald Trump to provide temporary protections for some undocumented immigrants in return for building a wall on the southwestern border with Mexico was “unacceptable.” Trump’s plan also does not “represent a good faith effort to restore certainty to people’s lives” and is unlikely …

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FDA Head Threatens To Pull E-Cigarettes Off The Market

NBC News reports: Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb made his most direct threat yet against e-cigarette companies Friday, saying they face an “existential threat” if they don’t stop marketing to youth. Gottlieb said he was horrified at the recent rapid rise in teen vaping. He called out the most popular product — Juul— by name and said …

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REUTERS: Private Prison Group Works Asylum Seekers For Pennies, Then Gouges Them For Commissary Food

Reuters reports: Detained in a California lockup with hundreds of other immigrants seeking asylum, Duglas Cruz faced a choice. He could content himself with a jailhouse diet that he said left him perpetually hungry. Or he could labor in the prison’s kitchen to earn money to buy extra food at the commissary. Cruz went to work. But his $1-a-day salary …

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Trump Nominates Former Coal Lobbyist To Head EPA

Axios reports: President Trump has formally sent Andrew Wheeler’s nomination for administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to the Senate for confirmation, the White House announced Wednesday. Wheeler, the current acting chief of the EPA, is a former coal lobbyist who is expected to run a more conventional and inclusive policy process than former administrator Scott Pruitt. The end result, …

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Hundreds Of Unpaid TSA Workers Are Calling In “Sick”

CNN reports: Hundreds of Transportation Security Administration officers, who are required to work without paychecks through the partial government shutdown, have called out from work this week from at least four major airports, according to two senior agency officials and three TSA employee union officials. The mass call outs could inevitably mean air travel is less secure, especially as the …

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Senior Trump Officials Get $10K Raise Amid Shutdown

The Washington Post reports: While many federal workers go without pay and the government is partially shut down, hundreds of senior Trump political appointees are poised to receive annual raises of about $10,000 a year. The pay raises for Cabinet secretaries, deputy secretaries, top administrators and even Vice President Pence are scheduled to go into effect beginning Jan. 5 without …

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Human Waste Overwhelms Parks Because Of Shutdown

The Associated Press reports: Human feces, overflowing garbage, illegal off-roading and other damaging behavior in fragile areas were beginning to overwhelm some of the West’s iconic national parks, as a partial government shutdown left the areas open to visitors but with little staff on duty. Unlike shutdowns in some previous administrations, the Trump administration was leaving parks open to visitors …

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Federal Workers Union Sues Trump Over Shutdown

Just in via press release: Today, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) and Kalijarvi, Chuzi, Newman & Fitch (KCNF DC) sued the federal government on behalf of AFGE members and federal employees being forced to work without pay. The lawsuit alleges that the federal government is violating the law by requiring some federal employees to work without pay during …

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House Democrats Unveil Plan To Reopen Government

The Associated Press reports: House Democrats are unveiling legislation to reopen the government without money for President Donald Trump’s border wall. The House is preparing to vote on the package Thursday when the new Congress convenes. This is according to an aide who was not authorized to discuss the plan publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. It will include …

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Trump Order Freezes 2019 Pay For Federal Workers

Roll Call reports: As the partial government shutdown grinds on, President Donald Trump signed an executive order Friday evening that would freeze pay for federal workers in 2019. Trump telegraphed the move in his February budget request for fiscal 2019 when he proposed a pay freeze for the roughly 2.1 million federal civilian workers. White House and Office of Management …

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Mulvaney: Technically, Mexico Can’t Pay For The Wall

ABC News reports: The president’s incoming chief of staff said Sunday that any money for the border wall would have to come from the Treasury Department, saying “the Department of Homeland Security can’t actually spend money from Mexico.” “Technically, you and I both know that it cannot work exactly like that,” Mick Mulvaney told ABC News Chief White House Correspondent …

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Senate May Vote On Amended Spending Bill Tomorrow

Bloomberg reports: Senators are preparing for a possible vote on Friday if the House is able to send it an amended government funding bill. Senators and aides say they’ve been told to tentatively plan for a vote around noon on Friday, even as scores of senators have already left Washington after passing a seven-week stopgap funding measure on Wednesday night. …

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Pelosi: I Was Too Busy To Watch Paul Ryan’s Farewell

The Hill reports: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that she didn’t hear Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) farewell speech on Wednesday because she “was busy doing other things.” “This may come as a shock to you, but I was busy doing other things at the time. I wish him well as he goes forward,” she said when asked …

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Paul Ryan: Trump Won’t Sign No-Wall Spending Bill

ABC News reports: House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters Wednesday afternoon after meeting with President Trump that the President will not sign a spending bill that has already passed the Senate because it does not offer funding for his border wall. Trump had indicated yesterday that he would sign the bill in order to prevent a government shutdown. The government …

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Trump Hints At Shutdown Via Spending Bill Veto

Reuters reports: Fears about a partial government shutdown grew Thursday as President Donald Trump left the door open to vetoing a short-term spending bill expected to pass Congress. The Senate has approved a bill to avoid a partial government shutdown. But it was unclear Thursday morning whether the House would pass it — or if Trump would sign it — …

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