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Government Shutdown Enters Third Week, Possible Breakthrough To Prevent Future Shutdowns

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As the shutdown of the federal government ties for the longest in U.S. history, a group of Republican senators, including senior Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, are proposing a bill that would permanently prevent shutdowns of this kind from ever happening again.

The bill, called the End Government Shutdowns Act, was introduced Friday by U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Rob Portman (R-OH), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Steve Daines (R-MT), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Mike Enzi (R-WY), John Barrasso (R-WY), Jim Risch (R-ID), and Mike Lee (R-UT).

The bill will “permanently prevent the federal government from shutting down, ensuring that essential government services aren’t disrupted and protecting taxpayers who must bear the resulting cost,” according to the statement released by Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-AK) office Friday.

In a statement Friday, Murkowski said of the shutdown: “The ripple effect of a government shutdown has consequences for all Alaskans– most directly on the thousands of federal employees and tens of thousands more that rely on our federal agencies.”

“This legislation permanently ends government shutdowns with a commonsense solution to avoid a funding lapse, ensuring the jobs and livelihoods of federal workers and contractors are not held hostage during political disputes,” she said. “For the sake of our federal employees, their families, and our nation, I’m proud to support the End Government Shutdowns Act.”


This post will be updated when new information warrants.

UPDATE (1/11/19 3:30 PM EDT): The House & Senate broke for the weekend Friday, all but ensuring that the partial government shutdown would become the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, with no end in sight.


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Trump Says He’ll Make a ‘Major Announcement’ Saturday Afternoon About Shutdown, Border

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Washington (AP) — Trump says he will make a ‘major announcement’ on Saturday afternoon about the government shutdown and border security.

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Trump Administration Separated Thousands More Migrants Than Previously Known

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The Trump Administration separated thousands more migrant kids from their families at the border than it previously acknowledged, and the separations started months before the policy was announced, according to a federal audit released Thursday morning.

“More children over a longer period of time” were separated at the border than commonly known, an investigator with the Department of Health and Human Services inspector general’s office told reporters Thursday morning.

“How many more children were separated is unknown, by us and HHS” because of failures to track families as they were being separated, he said.

HHS officials involved in caring for the separated children and reunifying families estimated “thousands” of additional children are separated at the border, the inspector general said.

The report sheds new light on the Trump administration’s efforts to deter border crossings by separating migrant families. House Democrats who’ve condemned the separations as inhumane have vowed to investigate the administration’s handling of the policy and its health effects on separated children, and the inspector general said additional investigations are in the works.

The inspector general report said some family separations continued, even after President Donald Trump in June 2018 ended the policy amid uproar and a federal court ordered his administration to reunify the families. The June 2018 court order called on the administration to reunify about 2,500 separated children in government custody. Most of those families were reunited within 30 days.

However, HHS received at least 118 separated children between July and early November, according to the report. DHS provided “limited” information about the reason for those separations. In slightly more than half of those cases, border officials cited the parent’s criminal history as a reason to separate the families, although they did not always provide details. The court order requiring reunifications said family separations should only occur if border officials could specify when parents posed possible dangers to children or were otherwise unfit to care for them, the inspector general noted.

Federal investigators said they had no details about how many of the “thousands of separated children” who entered the care of HHS before the June 2018 court order had been reunited.

“We have no information about the status of the children who were released prior to the court order,” Maxwell told reporters. [POLITICO]

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Prince Phillip Involved in Car Crash

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#BREAKING Duke of Edinburgh involved in car crash near Sandringham Estate but not injured, Buckingham Palace says.

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