Dec 28, 2018

The next casualties of a prolonged government shutdown

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The impact of the government shutdown will continue to grow as members of Congress remain unable to reach a compromise over funding for President Trump's border wall.

The state of play: Exactly one week since the shutdown began, it doesn't seem likely that the government will reopen anytime soon, with neither the Senate nor the House scheduled to hold votes until at least Monday. Democrats will take control of the House on Jan. 3, leaving even less leverage for Trump to get the funding he has demanded.

The big picture: The shutdown initially closed about a quarter of the government and delayed the pay of around 420,000 federal employees. Thousands of others were forced to stay home, including government contractors who will likely never see any compensation for having to take off during the shutdown.

  • A global weather conference with more than 4,000 attendees scheduled for January may be canceled if the government remains closed, Bloomberg reports. A ton of research and potential public/private contracts could be squandered as a result, per Axios science editor Andrew Freedman.
  • All Smithsonian Museums and the National Zoo will close January 2, per NPR.
  • The Environment Protection Agency is set to soon run out of money, and will furlough employees on Saturday if no funding deal is reached by the end of the day Friday, Bloomberg Environment reports.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture had announced payments for farmers who have been hardest hit by the U.S. trade war with China. But with the government remaining shut down for more than a week, some farmers may not receive their promised checks and won't be able to receive farm loans or disaster assistance, according to the AP.
  • The Federal Trade Commission will need to suspend all investigations and litigation by Friday, including a high-profile investigation of Facebook.
  • The Office of Personnel Management released a template letter Thursday for furloughed government employees to use to request smaller payments from creditors or landlords. One version of the letter included the suggestion that employees offer "the possibility of trading services to perform maintenance...in exchange for partial rent payments."

Go deeper: What to expect from the partial government shutdown

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The cost of going after Bloomberg

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Here's the growing dilemma for 2020 Democrats vying for a one-on-one showdown with frontrunner Bernie Sanders: Do they have the guts — and the money — to first stop Mike Bloomberg?

Why it matters: Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren all must weigh the costs of punching Bloomberg where he looks most vulnerable: stop-and-frisk, charges of sexism, billionaire entitlement. The more zealous the attacks, the greater the risk he turns his campaign ATM against them.

How Trump’s economy stacks up

Source: "Presidents and US Economy", Trump figures through 2019 courtesy of Alan Blinder; Note: Data shows real GDP and Q1 growth in each term is attributed to the previous president; Chart: Axios Visuals

Average economic growth under President Trump has outpaced the growth under Barack Obama, but not all of his recent predecessors.

Why it matters: GDP is the most comprehensive economic scorecard — and something presidents, especially Trump, use as an example of success. And it's especially relevant since Trump is running for re-election on his economic record.

Coronavirus cases rise as 14 American evacuees infected

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

14 Americans evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship tested positive for the novel coronavirus before being flown in a "specialist containment" on a plane repatriating U.S. citizens back home, the U.S. government said early Monday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,770 people and infected almost 70,000 others. Most cases and all but five of the deaths have occurred in mainland China. Taiwan confirmed its first death on Sunday, per multiple reports, in a 61-year-old man with underlying health conditions. Health officials were investigating how he became ill.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health