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Shutdown Is Over But Effects Will Linger for Guard in Lost Training

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    • Report: Economic Toll Of Government Shutdown Almost As Bad As Economic Toll Of Having A Bloated Federal Government In The First Place

      U.S.—The economic toll of the government shutdown is growing by the day, and experts now believe the cost of having the government partially closed down is nearly as bad as the economic toll of a functioning government interfering in our economy, businesses, and private decisions in the first place. The post Report: Economic Toll Of Government Shutdown Almost As Bad As Economic Toll Of Having A Bloated Federal Government In The First Place appeared first on The Babylon Bee. View the original full article

      in Christian Satire

    • McConnell Says No Time Off For Senators Until Shutdown Ends

      By Henry Rodgers - Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate will cancel its scheduled recess next week unless the partial government shutdown ends and the government is funded Tuesday afternoon. “We certainly will not be in recess next week if the government is still shut down,” McConnell said to reporters on Capitol Hill. His comments come as the Senate has a recess planned beginning Friday until Jan. 28, despite the 25 day partial government shutdown. McConnell made it clear that senators would be required to work throughout their scheduled recess unless both parties can compromise and find a way to fund the government. Hours prior, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said the House will cancel its scheduled recess next week, after news broke that a number of congressional Democrats spent the weekend on the beaches of Puerto Rico with dozens of lobbyists and corporate executives, despite the partial government shutdown. Democrats also refused to participate in a lunch with President Donald Trump at the White House Tuesday. The meeting was planned to discuss a compromise to end the partial government shutdown. However, all Democrats who were invited refused to attend. Trump has warned Democrats he might declare a national emergency if they cannot come to an agreement in the near future. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected] McConnell Says No Time Off For Senators Until Shutdown Ends is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more. View the original full article

      in Political Conservative News

    • The New York Times Omitted Key Details About EPA’s Shutdown Woes

      By Michael Bastasch - The New York Times put out a misleading report on the halt in EPA inspections during the shutdown. The Times neglected to mention that states carry out the vast majority of inspections. “Most U.S. environmental laws work through cooperative federalism.” The New York Times’ claim that furloughed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials have not been able to complete “hundreds” of inspections during the government shutdown creates a false impression of where the vast majority of U.S. environmental enforcement takes place. The Times’ reported Wednesday the ongoing government shutdown has halted the “most important public health activities, the inspections of chemical factories, power plants, oil refineries, water treatment plants, and thousands of other industrial sites for pollution violations.” While it’s true EPA halted inspections of regulated facilities, The Times’ story left out an extremely important detail that left readers with the impression industry has free reign to pollute the air and water. The Times neglected to mention a key part of environmental compliance and enforcement — state regulators carry out the vast majority of inspections. Also, EPA’s compliance office tends to conduct most inspections in the spring and summer months, not in winter, according EPA officials who spoke to The Daily Caller News Foundation on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press. In all, states are responsible for carrying out more than 98 percent of federal environmental programs designed to protect air and water quality and insure safe disposal of waste, according to the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS). “Most U.S. environmental laws work through cooperative federalism. That means the federal government sets national environmental standards while states implement those standards within their borders,” reads ECOS’s website. For example, all but three states and the District of Columbia are authorized to implement the Clean Drinking Water Act, according to EPA information. Forty-nine states take the lead on enforcement under the Safe Drinking Water Act and 48 states are authorized to implement the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, which governs solid and hazardous waste disposal. EPA maintains a public database called Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO), which, among other things, tracks on enforcement and inspections carried out by federal and state officials. In almost every regulatory category — ECHO’s data for drinking water facilities doesn’t differentiate between federal and state inspections — state officials carry out the vast majority of inspections and enforcement actions. For example, EPA officials inspected 1,232 facilities to ensure compliance with the Clean Water Act in 2018 while states inspected 30,368 last year, according to ECHO. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency It’s a similar story for enforcement actions taken against facilities that violated Clean Water Act requirements. EPA took 543 enforcement actions against facilities out of compliance, while states took 15,796 enforcement actions, according to ECHO. EPA still roughly 11,700 inspections every year, according to The Times. Inspections are carried out by the agency’s Office of Compliance and Enforcement (OECA). The Times estimated “hundreds of such inspections may have already been canceled this year, with the potential for hundreds more to not take place should the shutdown continue for days or weeks more.” The Times quoted one furloughed EPA inspector who gave the ominous quote: “Now there’s nobody out there to check if they’re complying.” One EPA official took issue with The Times’ estimate of missed inspections, and noted that OECA conducts most of its inspections during spring and summer months, so right now is not the peak period for inspections. “The speculation they had there, I would characterize it as misleading,” the official told TheDCNF. Most of EPA’s roughly 600 environmental compliance officers are furloughed due to the ongoing government shutdown, which became the longest in history as of Saturday. The now 24-day partial shutdown was precipitated by a fight over funding for a U.S.-Mexico border wall. Democratic lawmakers used The Times’ report to attack President Donald Trump, with Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey saying the ongoing shutdown “means toxic water and air for our communities.” The Trump administration came under fire last year for a drop in environmental enforcement activities, continuing a trend that started under the Obama administration. However, EPA criminal enforcement agents are still on the job and the agency has non-furloughed agents standing by for emergencies or if the agency sees an imminent threat to public health. An EPA official told TheDCNF that The Times’ report gave a “false view of what EPA inspectors do.” EPa inspectors often comb through records compiled by regulated facilities or do walkthroughs. “It’s not like they regularly go out and plug leaks,” the official said. “That rarely happens.” “It takes time for EPA professionals to review this information,” including looking through reams of documentation of facilities’ emissions or discharges to see if they were in compliance, the official said. EPA stayed open during the first week of the ongoing government shutdown, but was forced to close its doors and furlough most of its 15,000-strong workforce when their funding ran out in late December. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected] The New York Times Omitted Key Details About EPA’s Shutdown Woes is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more. View the original full article

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    • Trump Again Places Blame For Shutdown At The Feet Of ‘Nancy And Cryin’ Chuck’

      By Evie Fordham - President Donald Trump placed the blame for the partial government shutdown at the feet of “Nancy and Cryin’ Chuck” in a tweet Monday. “Nancy and Cryin’ Chuck can end the Shutdown in 15 minutes. At this point, it has become their, and the Democrats, fault!” he wrote. The government shutdown hit day 24 Monday, setting a U.S. record. It was triggered after a short-term continuing resolution to fund the government expired Dec. 21. At the center of the funding battle is approximately $5 billion in funding for the border wall the president wants to build. Trump could try to use emergency powers to bring the shutdown to a close, but such an action is likely to be challenged in court. The president said he is open to using emergency powers but has also said the shutdown could last “months or even years.” Instead, Trump has been tweeting about how Democrats could “can easily fix” the shutdown, and he and his proxies have had several sit-downs with Democratic congressional leaders to no avail. The president had previously said he was “proud to shut down the government for border security” in a meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer Dec. 11. Trump seemed to tease the option of a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) compromise in a tweet Sunday. “Democrats are saying that DACA is not worth it and don’t want to include in talks,” Trump wrote on Twitter Sunday. “Many Hispanics will be coming over to the Republican side, watch!” DACA is an Obama administration-era program that allows people brought into the U.S. illegally when they were children. It doesn’t grant them lawful status, but it does remove the immediate threat of deportation for DACA recipients, according to USImmigration.org. Schumer said Republicans need to “abandon” border wall funding if they want to reopen the government since the start of the shutdown. But DACA advocates including Dreamer Hilario Yanez, who was interviewed on Fox News Wednesday night, said he supports a border wall and sees “opportunities for compromise.” Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected] Trump Again Places Blame For Shutdown At The Feet Of ‘Nancy And Cryin’ Chuck’ is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more. View the original full article

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    • President Trump Shutdown Differs Greatly From President Obama’s: Here Are A Few Ways How

      By Molly Prince - The OMB has been operating under the orders to cause as little disruption as possible during the partial government shutdown. The response differs greatly from that of the previous administration. Critics charge that acting Directer Russ Vought’s push to keep services functioning may land the administration in legal trouble. Services typically suspended during government shutdowns have continued to operate under the Trump administration, with insiders pointing to acting Office of Management and Budget Director Russell Vought as the reason why. Agencies impacted by government shutdowns are forced to severely cut back on operations, suspend services and often send workers home without pay. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has been using creative solutions to blunt the burden, according to a senior administration official and several prominent Republicans. Vought joined the OMB in early 2018, and assumed the role of acting director on Jan. 3 after Director Mick Mulvaney became President Donald Trump’s chief of staff. “My marching orders from Russ is to make this shutdown as painless as possible,” a senior administration official, who was not authorized to speak on the record because they are not a principal, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. The response by the Trump administration has differed greatly from that of the previous administration during the 2013 shutdown. “What the marching orders in the last administration were was to weaponize the shutdown, to make it as painful as possible,” the official continued. “They did things as a policy matter, to not keep programs running, to not keep services running, to not have federal workers delivering services as a policy matter and as a political matter.” The Republican-led House passed a stopgap funding bill on Dec. 20 that included appropriations to construct a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. However, with a 51-seat majority, Senate Republicans fell short of the necessary 60 votes needed to send it to Trump’s desk for his signature. Consequently, a partial government shutdown has been in effect since funding expired Dec. 21. “In many cases, Russ has been the one keeping things straight at OMB [while Director Mulvaney has been running the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau],” Marc Short, the former White House director of legislative affairs, told TheDCNF. “Nobody wants the shutdown, but it’s not as if Russ was thrown into the fire. The reality is that Russ was already managing the OMB, and he’s very capable to handle the challenges the shutdown presents.” Skeptics, however, charge that Vought’s limited governing experience has prevented the OMB from providing a clear direction during the shutdown. “I feel like they are making up the rules as they go along here and are going to get themselves in trouble legally,” William Hoagland, a Republican who served as staff director on the Senate Budget Committee during a government shutdown in 1995 told The Washington Post. “I’m not sure Russ’s strong suit is on the legal side and the management side.” One example of the differences in action is this year the Internal Revenue Service will be able to, for the first time, issue tax refunds during the shutdown. “I don’t know anybody who has greater expertise at the budget [than Vought] … he’s got an incredible work ethic,” former Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling, who chaired the House Financial Services Committee, told TheDCNF. “I’ve got to tell you, he doesn’t lose his head in a fight. He is committed, he is focused, he is smart and I just don’t know of any body on Capitol Hill who can match his budgetary expertise.” The senior administrative official noted that other agencies are also implementing Vought’s directive to make the shutdown as painless as possible. An example of this is the IRS’s move to restart verifying mortgage applications. “We give guidance to the agencies about how to look at things, how to have the mindset that where can we find money,” the official explained. “[The Deptartment of the Treasury] determined that even though the program has run out of funding, they were able to identify fees that they had collected that they could actually transfer into this program. Perfectly legal. They came to OMB to approve it.” The OMB also amended budgeting rules to extend Coast Guard salaries through the end of 2018 and the Department of Agriculture announced on Tuesday that low-income Americans will continue to have access to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits through the month of February. “I don’t wish to make light of the families who very much count on [a federal] paycheck. But I think for the vast majority of Americans, they are not seeing this temporary lapse in appropriations,” Hensarling continued. “That’s attributed to [Vought’s] skillful ability to manage this process.” President Barack Obama was accused of political theater after he fenced up war memorials, preventing veterans from honoring their fallen brethren. In 2013, after the Republican House and Democratic Senate failed to come to terms, the federal government spent money to maximize disruption, including shutting down parking lots to President George Washington’s privately owned home, removing the handles from bike path water pumps, closing private shops and restaurants on federal lands, fencing off a Capitol Hill turtle statue, creating new government websites to explain the existing websites weren’t funded, and taping Capitol Hill community notice boxes shut. Conversely, the Trump administration has kept national parks and monuments open by tapping into entrance fees to generate the revenue needed to provide basic services. Former National Park Services Deputy Director P. Daniel Smith hailed the move as an “extraordinary step.” “You’re always going to have criticism, but I’ll take our record of trying to make it as painless as possible against the last administration, or any administration for that matter,” the senior official said. “Any time there’s a shutdown the media will look to drive hysteria about it, so that makes anyone’s job tough,” Short told TheDCNF. “By all accounts I think Russ is doing a great job.” Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected] President Trump Shutdown Differs Greatly From President Obama’s: Here Are A Few Ways How is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more. View the original full article

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