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 exchange for partial rent payments."

Go deeper: What to expect from the partial government shutdown

Go deeper

NYPD commissioner: "I'm extremely proud" of officers' response to protests

New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea in February. Photo: Yana Paskova/Getty Images

New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said in a public statement Sunday that he is "extremely proud" of the New York City Police Department's response to protests over the death of George Floyd Saturday night, writing: "What we saw in New York City last night and the night before was not about peaceful protest of any kind."

Why it matters: New York City residents captured several instances of police officers using excessive force against demonstrators. In one video, two NYPD SUVs are seen ramming into protesters who were blocking a road and throwing traffic cones at the vehicles.

15 mins ago - Science

SpaceX capsule carrying astronauts docks with space station

The Crew Dragon just before docking on Sunday. Photo: NASA TV

SpaceX's Crew Dragon safely delivered two NASA astronauts — Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken — to the International Space Station on Sunday after the company's historic launch Saturday.

Why it matters: This marks the first time a private company has delivered people to the space station and it signals the beginning of the end of NASA's reliance on Russia's Soyuz spacecraft for flights to orbit.

Minnesota AG: Prosecution of officer in George Floyd case shouldn't be rushed

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison cautioned in an interview on "Fox News Sunday" that the case against Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer involved in the death of George Floyd, is "very early in the process" and that charges could be amended or added.

Why it matters: Chauvin was arrested last week and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter, which implies that he did not intend to kill Floyd. Some protestors have demanded more severe charges and Floyd's family has asked Ellison to serve as a special prosecutor in the case.