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Government shutdown: Workers miss 2nd paycheck; wall ‘down payment’ rejected



Federal workers are due to miss their second paycheck on Friday, as the record partial government shutdown continues.

The deadlock showed little sign of ending, after Democrats rejected a suggestion by President Donald Trump that he may relax his demand for $5.7 billion to fund his proposed border wall, and accept a “down payment” instead.

Around 800,000 federal workers are either off work or working without pay during the shutdown. An increasing number say they are relying on donations and food banks to make ends meet.

Many have warned they are risking the safety of Americans as they continue to work without getting paid.

President Donald Trump suggested on Thursday that he would be open to an reopening the government in exchange for a “prorated down payment” for his proposed barrier on the US-Mexico border.

Trump did not define the term further or give a figure for a size of the down payment, but did suggest that a “reasonable” installment could be a way to solve the deadlock.

Read more:The Senate didn’t pass either bill to end the government shutdown, but the Democrats’ bill got more votes than the Trump-backed bill with wall funding

But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected the idea. Speaking to reporters on Thursday, she said: “I don’t know if he knows what he’s talking about.”

Democrats have been saying since before the shutdown that they would not accept any spending deals that include funding for the wall.

Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi speaks on the partial government shutdown on Thursday.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

A bill proposed by Democrats to reopen the government did not pass the Senate in a vote Thursday.

It did not include any border wall funding but instead proposed reopening the government for a few weeks so negotiations could continue without the stress of a shutdown.

Although it did not pass, the bill got more votes than a Trump-endorsed rival bill, which asked for border wall funding in exchange for temporary protection for some immigrants.

Trump responded to Pelosi’s rejection of his suggestion on Twitter, where he said “We will not Cave!”

“Very simply, without a Wall it all doesn’t work,” he wrote.

However, the failure of the bills in the Senate has resulted in increased dialogue between the two parties.

McConnell called Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to his office on Thursday to explore potential next steps, the Associated Press reported.

McConnell told reporters after the votes: “At least we’re talking about it. That’s better than it was before.”

Federal workers protest, rely on food banks and warn about safety

A number of protests by federal workers have taken place since the shutdown began. On Wednesday, hundreds of furloughed workers staged a sit-in at the US Capitol and called for a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. 12 people were arrested.

Read more:Wilbur Ross, Trump’s millionaire commerce secretary, says he doesn’t understand why federal workers are going to food banks during the government shutdown

Their signs displayed slogans like “Let me work” and “Do your jobs so Americans can do theirs.”

Federal employees hold up signs made with styrofoam plates during a protest at the atrium of Senate Hart Office on Wednesday on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

TSA workers have reportedly been turning to food banks and living in their cars during the shutdown,

The air traffic controllers’ union this week issued a dire warning over passenger safety: “We cannot even calculate the level of risk currently at play, nor predict the point at which the entire system will break”

A Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) worker looks on as passengers pass through security at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia, on Thursday.

The head of the US Coast Guard said that the shutdown meant “that Coast Guard men and women have to rely on food pantries and donations to get through day-to-day life as service members.”

Lapsed food benefits for millions, courts system on the brink, and a potential recession: other effects of the shutdown

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