Senators Feeling Pressure of Longest Shutdown in History; Economic Growth Pinched; Gov’t Workers Turn to Emergency Loans

Lindsey Graham Blinks: Urges Trump to open govt ‘temporarily’… 

WASHINGTON, Jan 13 (Reuters) – A Republican senator close to President Donald Trump on Sunday backed a temporary re-opening of the federal government, in the 23rd day of the longest shutdown ever, to allow for talks on a spending agreement that could satisfy Trump’s border security demands.

Democrats in Congress rejected Trump’s request that legislation to fund the government include $5.7 billion of taxpayer money for a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico. They have refused further negotiations until the government is reopened after being partially shut down since Dec. 22.

Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he urged the president on Sunday to reopen the government for a limited period to try to get talks going again.

Senators feeling pressure of longest shutdown in history… 

QUOTES OF THE DAY

“It’s one-tenth of 1 percent of the federal budget. If we cannot do this together, what else can we not do in the future? This is not that big of a problem.” — House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy of California to CBS’ “Face the Nation” on the $5.7 billion Trump wants for the U.S.-Mexico border wall.

“I think it ends when the Senate Republicans say we’ve had enough. We’re not going to stand here and be blamed for this. We believe the government should be opened. There should be timely negotiations on border security after the government is open.” — Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., to ABC’s “This Week.”

Economic Growth Pinched… 

 

A Vermont mead brewery has delayed a major expansion because the owners can’t get a business loan. A craft-burger joint in Utah has sent employees home because sales are down. And a Maryland Lyft driver has seen his weekly income fall by nearly half.

The partial federal government shutdown that became the longest on record Sunday is curtailing infrastructure projects, food-processing inspections and economic data used by Wall Street. But on a more micro level, it is showing signs of disrupting commerce as hundreds of thousands of federal workers missed out on their first payday of the closure late last week.

While the economic gashes aren’t enough to derail the recovery, now in its 10th year, they appear to be at least temporarily diminishing the vigor of an expansion that was already projected to slow in 2019. Output is now expected to grow at a 2.2% pace in the first quarter, less than an estimated 3.1% growth recorded in 2018, economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal projected earlier this month. Those first-quarter estimates—down slightly from prior ones before the shutdown—will likely slip further as the shutdown continues. It enters its 24th day Monday.

Wall Impasse Frustrates Many Newly Elected House Dems…

Some newly elected Democrats are increasingly frustrated that they are taking complaints from angry constituents without having a mapped-out plan to end the partial shutdown—which became the longest in modern history over the weekend. Many believe they were elected to Congress to try to end its dysfunction and had hoped to be reaching a bipartisan compromise over border security to reopen the government.

WIRE: Stagecraft won’t win battle… 

WASHINGTON (AP) — Military salutes. Heaps of contraband. Oval Office optics.

President Donald Trump, who has long put a premium on stagecraft, is discovering he cannot resolve the partial government shutdown simply by putting on a show.

With the standoff over paying for his long-promised U.S.-Mexico wall dragging on, the president’s Oval Office address and visit to the Texas border this past week failed to break the logjam. Aides and allies are fearful that he has misjudged Democratic resolve and is running out of negotiating options.

 

Workers Turn to Emergency Loans…

WASHINGTON—Tens of thousands of workers affected by the government shutdown have applied for emergency loans and requested delays in mortgage payments, as many of them on Friday missed their first paycheck.

Financial institutions—including banks, credit unions, mortgage companies and online lenders—are taking steps to help some 800,000 workers affected by the partial government closure, which entered its fourth week Friday.

Some businesses are offering no-interest loans with no credit checks and are allowing customers to skip or delay loan payments without penalty. Others are waiving fees for account overdrafts and early withdrawals from certificates of deposit.

Federal and state financial regulators in a Friday joint statement encouraged financial institutions to work with affected customers, who may face “temporary hardship in making payments on debts such as mortgages, student loans, car loans, business loans or credit cards.” The statement was signed by the Federal Reserve, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and other agencies.

Immigration court backlog could grow by years…

Loophole allows MS-13 members to go free…

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