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Latest News: Public Health News

Partial Government Shutdown Reaches Fourth Week as Talks Continue

Saturday, January 19, 2019  
Posted by: NACCHO, News from Washington
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The partial Federal government shutdown is now the longest in U.S. history. The President seems to have backed away from threats to declare a national emergency, which would allow him to go around Congress to fund a border wall. However, he continues to insist on border wall funding being included in any appropriations bills to reopen the government. Meanwhile, the House continues to push and pass different iterations of spending bills to reopen the government without wall funding.  

On Wednesday, the House passed a $12.14 billion supplemental disaster aid package (HR 268) in a 237-187 vote, which included a three-week CR to fund the seven remaining agencies for FY2019 through February 8. The House then passed an amendment on a 230-197 vote that would bar the Administration from diverting appropriated funds to build a border wall. However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refuses to bring up any spending bills for a vote that do not have the President's blessing. 

A bipartisan group of Senators met on Monday to discuss a path toward ending the shutdown. The attendees included: Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Chris Coons (D-DE), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Doug Jones (D-AL), Mark Warner (D-VA), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Rob Portman (R-OH), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and Tim Kaine (D-VA). The group of Senators was also readying a letter with a goal of getting 20 signatures from their colleagues to ask the President to support a bill that would reopen the government for three weeks while Congress works on a border security package. 

NACCHO, along with many public health partners, sent a letter to the President and Congress highlighting the public health implications of the government shutdown and urged the President and Congress to reopen the government.