government shutdown | KERA News

government shutdown

Updated 2:10 p.m. ET

The Senate approved the bipartisan $1.1 trillion spending bill that funnels money to nearly every corner of the federal government and keeps it running through the end of the current fiscal year in September. The House approved the measure on Wednesday, and it now goes to President Trump for his signature.

Updated at 12:30 p.m. ET

The Republican chairmen of the House and Senate Appropriations committees have endorsed the idea of a short-term spending bill to keep the government open while budget negotiations continue.

The stop-gap spending measure, introduced by House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen of New Jersey, would put off the deadline to May 5.

Congress returns Tuesday from its spring recess, facing yet another down-to-the-wire spate of deal-making — and a White House anxious to claim its first major legislative win.

On Friday night, the funding measure lawmakers approved last year to keep the federal government running will expire. The timing leaves members of the House and Senate just four days to reach a new agreement to fund the government, or risk a partial shutdown of federal agencies on Saturday — the 100th day of Donald Trump's presidency.

Texans In Congress Help Override Obama's Veto Of 9/11 Bill

Sep 28, 2016
Abby Livingston / The Texas Tribune

Members of Congress — including many Texans — delivered Wednesday what might be the largest legislative blow that President Obama's administration has received.

Negotiators in the House and Senate have reached a deal on a bill to fund the government through Dec. 9.

Republicans and Democrats have been arguing for weeks to find a way forward before the Sept. 30 deadline in order to avoid a government shutdown.

Last week, negotiations in the Senate appeared to be at a standstill, with Democrats in both chambers insisting that the most recent Republican offer was not enough.

Claudette Barius / Sony Pictures/Columbia Pictures Industries/Twentieth Century Fox

Five stories that have North Texas talking: A movie with North Texas ties will be delayed a bit, the Texas Rangers are worth a billion bucks, learn more about Sen. Ted Cruz’s wife, and more:

Senate TV

Sen. Ted Cruz found a receptive audience in Fort Worth on Tuesday afternoon, meeting with about 20 small business owners for nearly an hour in a closed-door meeting.

But they didn’t discuss the Texas Republican's involvement in the partial government shutdown. Instead, Obamacare was on the agenda. Over half of the participants wanted to talk about the Affordable Care Act and how it was raising their healthcare costs, said Bill Thornton, president of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce.

Extra security was in place for the event after threats against Cruz were posted on Twitter. The Hill reported that a person posted on Twitter Friday: “Take down Ted Cruz, at his home” and listed Cruz’s home address in Houston. “What goes around comes around CRUZ!!” the person wrote.

BJ Austin / KERA News

The government shutdown generated national headlines, but it affected Dallas-Fort Worth and the rest of Texas, too. Initially, about 800,000 federal workers were forced off the job. On Oct. 16, Congress approved a bill to end the 16-day shutdown and avert the first government default in U.S. history Here’s the latest:

Update, 10:23 a.m. Fri., Oct. 25: The government has been open for more than a week, but some federal workers in Dallas-Fort Worth are suffering from "wounded morale, disillusionment and uncertainty about the stability of once highly sought after government jobs," The Dallas Morning News reports. Experienced government lawyers are looking for new jobs -- and employees worry about future paychecks.

The federal government shutdown is over, for now. But the battle over who gets the blame for the congressional meltdown will likely extend through the 2014 party primaries and general election. So how did the shutdown affect the political landscape in Texas?

A recent Rasmussen poll found 78 percent of the country would vote to get rid of the entire Congress and start over. And yesterday, the Houston Chronicle expressed regret for its endorsement of Sen.Ted Cruz in the 2012 Senate race. Sounds like there are dark days ahead for our Congressional incumbents in Texas.

Actually … no, says Texas Tribune Editor-in-Chief Evan Smith.

Update at 10:18 p.m.: House Approves Bill:

The crisis is over. With about two hours before the country reached the debt ceiling, the House has approved the bill and it is now it's way to the White House. We've posted separately on that development and we are putting this live blog to bed.

Our Original Post Continues:

BJ Austin / KERA News

The federal government shutdown is hitting home in North Texas. While Congressional Republicans met with President Obama on Thursday, furloughed federal workers took to the street in downtown Dallas.

They’re fed up with Congress, worried about family finances, and they want to get back to work.

For 30 years the Naval ROTC unit at the University of Texas has run the Texas-OU game ball from Austin to Dallas. Their counterparts at the University of Oklahoma did the same.

But neither will be making the trip this year. It’s not the death of a tradition – just another temporary casualty of the government shutdown.

The UT Naval ROTC unit is normally a part of the annual torchlight parade, part of a huge pep rally in anticipation of the Red River Shootout in Dallas. As part of the ceremonies at the base of the UT Tower, Coach Mack Brown would normally hand the game ball to the commanding officer  of the Naval ROTC student battalion.

The government shutdown has halted the federal investigation into the West Fertilizer Plant explosion. The explosion in April killed 15 people and injured hundreds of others.

“Some of the brightest scientists in the world are home today rather than doing their work to protect, and give us information so that we can have the right rules and regulations to protect our environment,” Sen. Ben Cardin, D-MD, said during a press conference yesterday. “The monitoring and enforcement is not being done as it should be done.” Cardin chairs the Senate Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife.

The ranks of furloughed workers includes most employees on the Chemical Safety Board, which investigates industrial accidents such as the West Fertilizer Plant explosion.

Catholic Diocese of Dallas

During a visit to Washington, D.C., over the weekend, Bishop Kevin Farrell of the Dallas Diocese criticized petty partisanship and polarizing rhetoric that he said makes it seem like "'I Did It My Way' has replaced the national anthem."

The visiting bishop also urged government officials to remove obstacles to welcoming immigrants.

Arkansas Times

An Arkansas newspaper reporter is in stable condition at an El Paso hospital after rescuers airlifted her from Texas' Big Bend Ranch State Park.

Cathy Frye, a reporter with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, had been lost for five nights.

Lockheed Martin, which builds the F-35 fighter jet in Fort Worth, says it will begin furloughing employees Monday because of the government shutdown. The biggest concern is the lack of inspectors needed to approve work performed in the manufacturing process.

In the second day of a partial government shutdown, Congress is at a stalemate.

On Tuesday night, House Republicans tried to pass three small bills funding popular parts of the government, such as the national parks. But they failed. The White House had already threatened a veto.

That strategy, as with others in this fight, is credited to Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.

President Obama spoke with NPR in the Oval Office on Monday, as a visiting group of young people in suits got a tour of the Rose Garden outside the windows. The most striking part of our encounter in this moment of crisis was how familiar the atmosphere seemed.

williacw / Flickr

If the federal government shuts down, the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum will shut down, too.

The library, located on the Southern Methodist University campus, has posted a short note on its website. The library says that in the event of a shutdown, it won’t be able to sell tickets, update its website, produce blog items or post Facebook notes.

All National Archives and Records Administration facilities will be closed and all National Archives activities will be canceled.

The Senate passed a continuing resolution to keep the federal government functioning past a Monday night deadline, NPR reports. But it removed language to defund the Affordable Care Act -- the cause that Sen. Ted Cruz built his 21-hour talk-a-thon on Wednesday. The resolution goes next to the House of Representatives, where its future is murky.

CBS News via UStream

Reaction to Sen. Ted Cruz’s marathon speech is mixed in Washington and in Texas.