Friday News Roundup - Domestic
With guest host Todd Zwillich.
On Monday, furloughed federal workers returned to work after the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. For the first time in 35 days, airports began to run at working speed; museums and zoos reopened; and investigations into transit accidents and environmental damage resumed.
From The Washington Post:
As large segments of the government restarted after 35 days of inactivity, returning employees hugged colleagues, jettisoned sour milk from refrigerators, shared furlough stories and changed computer passwords. The tech support team at the Department of Housing and Urban Development said it received more than 1,000 calls by 1 p.m. Monday for help getting computers back online and resetting passwords.
In some offices, it felt as if time had stood still; the Environmental Protection Agency, for example, issued its list of accomplishments for 2018 in the last week of January.
The shutdown cost the economy $11 billion — $3 billion of which won’t be recovered — according to the Congressional Budget Office. It remains to be seen when federal employees will receive back pay, and government contractors are fighting to be compensated.
On Wednesday, members of a bipartisan committee met to discuss border security, and many seemed optimistic about nearing a resolution. “I know that the American people are counting on us to come to a reasonable and responsible solution,” House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey, D-NY, said. “We are appropriators, and consistent with the proud tradition of our committees, I am confident that we will be able to reach a compromise.”
We heard from federal workers on their first day back, and discussed what to expect in the coming weeks ahead of the Feb. 15 deadline. You can hear that conversation here.
As negotiations over border security continued to heat up, temperatures around the country dropped to record lows, particularly in the midwest. Many schools and universities have closed due to the Polar Vortex, and governors of Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin have declared states of emergency.
President Trump used the opportunity to add fuel to the climate change debate.
In the beautiful Midwest, windchill temperatures are reaching minus 60 degrees, the coldest ever recorded. In coming days, expected to get even colder. People can’t last outside even for minutes. What the hell is going on with Global Waming? Please come back fast, we need you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 29, 2019
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weighed in.
— NOAA Climate.gov (@NOAAClimate) January 29, 2019
Finally, longtime Trump associate Roger Stone pled not guilty to seven criminal charges, including witness tampering and obstruction of justice. Not long after, Stone, Jim Mattis and Lanny Davis walked into a steakhouse for lunch and turned some heads.
We’ll wrap up this busy week in domestic news.
Text by Kathryn Fink.
Jonathan Capehart, Pulitzer Prize-winning opinion writer at The Washington Post and host of the “Cape Up” podcast; @CapehartJ
Eliana Johnson, White House reporter, Politico; @elianayjohnson
Reid Wilson, National correspondent, The Hill; @PoliticsReid
Tracy Samilton, Energy and transportation reporter, Michigan Radio
For more, visit https://the1a.org.
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