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story.lead_photo.caption Tourists arrive to visit the U.S. Capitol on a rainy morning in Washington, Friday, Dec. 28, 2018, during a partial government shutdown. The partial government shutdown will almost certainly be handed off to a divided government to solve in the new year, as both parties traded blame Friday and President Donald Trump sought to raise the stakes in the weeklong impasse. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump said Saturday that he was "in the White House waiting for the Democrats to come on over and make a deal on Border Security" as the partial government shutdown entered its second week.

Trump is holding out for billions in federal funds for a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, which Democrats have said they are intent on blocking.

Democrats have said they will pass legislation restoring the government after they take control of the House on Thursday, but Trump and the Republican-controlled Senate must agree to go along with it.

Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency, which had the money to function a week longer than some other agencies, implemented its shutdown plan at midnight Friday.

EPA spokesman Molly Block said many of the agency's 14,000 employees were being furloughed, while disaster-response teams and certain other employees deemed essential would stay on the job. That includes workers needed for preventing immediate public-health threats at more than 800 Superfund hazardous-waste sites.

But federal flood insurance policies will continue to be issued and renewed, in a reversal prompted by pressure from lawmakers, said U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

The Coast Guard also will be funded, though a spokesman said operations are being scaled back during the shutdown to focus on search and rescue. Active-duty Coast Guard personnel are considered essential and remain on duty.

Chief Warrant Officer Chad Saylor, a spokesman, had said Friday that the Coast Guard's final paychecks of the year wouldn't be delivered. The Defense Department, which includes most branches of the military, isn't affected by the partial shutdown. However, the Coast Guard is part of the Department of Homeland Security, and many of its employees are working without the promise of a paycheck.

Late on Friday, a Coast Guard workforce blog said the service had found a way to pay its military workforce in a "one-time action."

Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said 42,000 Coast Guard members nationwide are going to be paid for work performed before the government shutdown and will receive their paychecks on Monday.

Collins called the move "good news" on Twitter, where she'd earlier posted that it was "not fair" that the Coast Guard members wouldn't be paid.

An estimated 400,000 federal employees are working without pay, and 380,000 are furloughed, according to a congressional Democratic aide. That's out of a federal workforce of about 2.1 million.

The departments of Labor and Health and Human Services were among those already funded and unaffected by the shutdown. Mandatory entitlement programs like Medicare payments will continue.

Most federal workers, including those who were furloughed, were paid Friday after the White House budget office concluded that the checks reflected work they did before the shutdown.

If the standoff continues, all workers in the nine departments and dozens of agencies affected by the closure will miss their next paycheck on Jan. 11.

On Thursday, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management tweeted sample letters to help the affected workers negotiate with creditors and mortgage companies. One letter, meant for employees to send to their landlords, suggests "the possibility of trading my services to perform maintenance (e.g. painting, carpentry work) in exchange for partial rent payments."

On CNN Saturday morning, Tony Reardon, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, called the sample letter "laughable" and "unfortunate."

"I think it's disgusting, candidly," Reardon said on New Day. He added, "It's wrong to treat human beings this way."

Critics also called the Office of Personnel Management's tweet tone-deaf for telling furloughed workers to "consult with [a] personal attorney" for legal advice.

However, supporters noted that the agency has offered similar advice for furloughed workers in the past, including in 2015 when Barack Obama was president.

PAY FREEZE ORDER

On Friday, Trump issued an order to freeze federal employee salary rates at their current levels in 2019. In a statement, Reardon likened the order to "pouring salt on the wound."

"As if missed paychecks and working without pay were not enough, now they have been told that they don't even deserve a modest pay increase," Reardon said.

Trump's order was expected because he has advocated a freeze all year. It however was necessary under the law governing federal pay to prevent a large raise from taking effect by default because Congress was not making a decision regarding a raise.

Trump's order only applies to civilian workers. Military personnel, which are covered under a separate funding measure, will receive a 2.6 percent raise.

The order is not necessarily the final word. Even before the partial shutdown hit, one of the main Senate advocates for a raise, Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., had raised the prospect of attempting to pass an increase early in the new Congress that convenes Thursday, saying that "it should be the first order of business when we return."

Federal employee pay raises are effective with the start of the first full biweekly pay period of a year, which in this case will start Jan. 6, leaving little time for enactment of a raise by then. However, raises have been paid retroactively -- most recently in both 2003 and 2004, when final agency funding similarly hadn't been resolved until past the start of the new year. In both cases, a raise had been paid by default in early January but was overridden by a larger one contained in a later full-year appropriations bill.

The Senate initially approved a 1.9 percent raise for 2019 on a bipartisan vote, although it rejected a bid by Van Hollen and others to include it in a measure to temporarily continue funding for agencies whose regular budgets have not been enacted.

Federal employees have received annual raises in the 1 percent to 2 percent range in the years after an Obama-era pay freeze ended in 2013. Office of Personnel Management guidance on the new order says that employees would remain eligible in 2019, as they were in those years, for raises on promotion or on advancing up the steps of a pay grade.

The guidance notes that a freeze in effect since 2013 on salaries for senior political appointees is set to expire Saturday. Unless a law is enacted reinstating that freeze, those appointees would be due for catch-up raises covering the intervening years, it says. That would result in Cabinet members, for example, getting a 5.5 percent raise of nearly $11,000 to $210,700.

Information for this article was contributed by Zeke Miller, Jill Colvin, Lisa Mascaro, Juliet Linderman and staff members of The Associated Press; by Erik Wasson and Todd Shields of Bloomberg News; and by Michael Brice-Saddler and Eric Yoder of The Washington Post.

A Section on 12/30/2018

Print Headline: At White House, Trump invites Democrats 'over' to make a deal

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Archived Comments

  • 23cal
    December 30, 2018 at 7:17 a.m.

    "Military personnel, which are covered under a separate funding measure, will receive a 2.6 percent raise."
    Trump told them in Iraq

  • 23cal
    December 30, 2018 at 7:17 a.m.

    "Military personnel, which are covered under a separate funding measure, will receive a 2.6 percent raise."
    Trump told them in Iraq they were getting a raise of 10%, and that it was the first raise in ten years.

  • RBear
    December 30, 2018 at 7:22 a.m.

    Let's be clear on this. There WAS a deal in place until the Freedom Caucus and a few right wing radio nuts derailed it with Trump. After that, several negotiations showed he wasn't in the mood to make deals when everyone was in DC, holding fast on his wall funding. So, all this talk about deals is really just a ruse to make Trump look like he's working, but really not. He might be able to gain some traction with deal making IF he'd lay off Twitter for a while and showed some interest in discussing this rationally. You don't bring people to the table by falsely laying the deaths of two children on them, following that statement with the lie that your "wall" would have stopped the deaths.
    ...
    To add to those insults, Trump issues an EO freezing the salaries of federal workers. These workers are caught in his political games and are now having to figure out ways to make ends meet, including dealing with rents, mortgage payments, and other basic necessities. What's even worse is OPM's advise to them is to barter with their landlords about rents. REALLY? How about we get the government back open instead of these charades?

  • ARMNAR
    December 30, 2018 at 9:03 a.m.

    Nixon was a Richard; Trump is a Dick.

  • BoudinMan
    December 30, 2018 at 9:12 a.m.

    "Mexico will pay for the wall." Promises made. Promises kept?

  • KCSAP
    December 30, 2018 at 9:24 a.m.

    The only thing that is clear is that the USA needs a wall, and the dems don't want it now. Oh course they voted for it years ago, but this is what we get from unprincipled, dishonest, hacks. Much more dem phooey to come in 2019.

  • 23cal
    December 30, 2018 at 10:12 a.m.

    "Forty-seven percent of adults in the U.S. hold Trump responsible, while 33 percent blame Democrats in Congress, according to the Dec. 21-25 [Reuters] poll, conducted mostly after the shutdown began. Seven percent of Americans blamed congressional Republicans.

    The shutdown was triggered by Trump’s demand, largely opposed by Democrats and some Republicans, that taxpayers provide him with $5 billion to help pay for a wall he wants to build on the Mexican border. Its total estimated cost is $23 billion.

    Just 35 percent of those surveyed in the Reuters/Ipsos poll said they backed including money for the wall in a congressional spending bill. Only 25 percent said they supported Trump shutting down the government over the matter." Reuters

    "A shutdown falls on the president's lack of leadership. I mean problems start from the top and they have to get solved from the top. A shutdown means the president is weak." - Trump 2013

    “I am proud to shut down the government for border security. I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I’m not going to blame you for it." Trump, 2018

  • Skeptic1
    December 30, 2018 at 11:23 a.m.

    Meanwhile "let them eat cake" Pelosi is vacationing at some luxury resort in Hawaii. This is her shut-down playing to the far left loons that now control the Dems in the hopes she will be voted in as speaker once again. The country overwhelmingly wants our borders secured and now after a "legal immigrant" police officer was gunned down by an "illegal alien," she and her ilk have a lot of explaining to do.

  • UoABarefootPhdFICYMCA
    December 30, 2018 at 11:42 a.m.

    Trump 2020

  • JIMGAIL61788GMAILCOM
    December 30, 2018 at 11:47 a.m.

    THE WALL!THE DEMOCRATS VOTED FOR TECHNOLOGY UPGRADES,CAMERAS,MOTION SENSORS,AND A "FENCE".NOT A TALL CONCRETE WALL.BUILDING A WALL FOR $5 BILLION.ANOTHER LIE TOLD BY THE LIAR.ANOTHER PROMISE NOT KEPT-"MEXICO" IS TO PAY FOR THE CONSTRUCTION.OH! A REAL TALL WALL THAT IS ONLY A $ 200 BOAT RIDE AT EITHER END TO GET AROUND.A GREAT DEAL OF FUSS OVER AN ILL CONCEIVED PLAN.THEN BEING ILL CONCEIVED IS A TRUMP TRAIT.NO THOUGHT.JUST KNEE JERK REACTIONS.TRUMP! THE "SMALL"HANDS,THIN SKINNED,VINDICTIVE EMOTIONALLY DEVELOPED TO A 14 YEAR OLD LEADER OF THE TRUMP-PETS.THEY!WHO HAVE ALLOWED THIS ILK OF A HUMAN BEING TO GLOBALLY EMBARRASS OUR COUNTRY .THEY ARE A DISGRACE,AND SHOULD READ MORE ABOUT THE WAY THIS COUNTRY WAS SUPPOSE TO OPERATE.THIS IS NOT A MONARCHY.THOUGH!TRUMP WILL ARGUE THAT POINT.THIS COUNTRY IS LOOKING MORE,AND MORE OF A FASCIST STATE.REMEMBER!TRUMP THOUGHT HE HAD THE POWERS TO WRITE AN EXECUTIVE ORDER TO TERMINATE THE 14TH AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION.ANOTHER PERSON OF GERMAN DESCENT WHO THINKS.HE IS THE "FUHRER". I CERTAINLY HOPE THE REPUBLICANS HAVE REALIZED THE DEPTH OF THEIR EMBARRASSMENT .THEY SHOULD JUST ADMIT THEIR BACKING OF TRUMP WAS A GROSS LACK OF GOOD JUDGEMENT.THIS IS AN ADMINISTRATION.WHERE REPUBLICANS HOLD THE HOUSE,SENATE,AND THE WHITE HOUSE.THEY HAVE SHOWN.THEY STILL CAN NOT PASS THEIR OWN BILLS.THIS IS A SIGN OF "BAD" LEADERSHIP.PLAIN,AND SIMPLE.

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