This government shutdown is approaching the longest-ever gap in funding.
President Trump and congressional Democratic leaders spoke during prime time on Tuesday night about the shutdown. Trump reiterated his claims about border security, while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer tried to make the case for reopening the government and making the border wall funding a separate negotiation. The speeches showed that the president and Democratic lawmakers still remain far apart on the border issue, signaling that the shutdown affecting hundreds of thousands public servants and contractors is unlikely to end soon.
At GovExec, we can't report on all aspects of the shutdown. Here is a roundup of reporting in other news outlets.
One small agency shuttered by the gap in federal funding is a little-known agency called the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. Because of this, new beer labels and recipes will not get approval for sale. According to the Chicago Tribune, craft brewers are worried about the shutdown because it puts them at a competitive disadvantage in the beer market. “We always have a few labels submitted,” one craft brewer told the paper. “It’s the new reality with consumers pushing for more and more new beers.” Brewers can still brew and sell their existing labels, but problems will crop up the longer the shutdown lasts. Read more at the Chicago Tribune.
Public servants looking to learn and network have also been affected by the shutdown. Feds planning to attend training and workforce development meetings or conferences have been prevented from doing so. Our sibling site Nextgov reported that most feds will drop out of this week's Consumer Electronics Show, a huge technology conference. Agencies are also canceling conferences, including the "Homeland Security Department canceling a three-day cybersecurity and innovation showcase originally scheduled to kick off Tuesday." Read more at Nextgov.
According to a new Washington Post map of affected workers by percentage of the employed, the shutdown is most-felt per capita in the District of Columbia, with Alaska, Montana and Maryland as the next three most-affected states. The Post used Office of Personnel Management data to create the map and also produced a table with the top three agency employers in each of the 50 states and D.C. Read more at The Washington Post.
One ongoing saga of the shutdown is that of the mess left at the open western National Park Service facilities. The mess and damage to endangered or vulnerable flora was such at California's Joshua Tree National Park that the park has to be closed temporarily, according to The Los Angeles Times. Park staff will clean restrooms and other park facilities, while NPS will assess the damage done to the park's iconic namesake trees. It is unclear how long the closure will last because park officials told the paper Tuesday that Joshua Tree would close for the remainder of the shutdown, then walked it back later that day. Read more at The Los Angeles Times.
The shutdown has caused agencies to shift money around to stretch funding for as long as possible and The Washington Post reported on the ways the White House has instructed agencies to do so. At the Housing and Urban Development Department, the agency sent letters to 1,500 landlords last week asking them to use reserve money in lieu of evicting tenants. According to the paper, many of the tenants were not aware of the funding gap and likely would have been caught by surprise by the evictions. Read the letters at The Washington Post.