1 Shutdown Means IRS Will Take Your Money, Won't Give Refunds
In what is perhaps an entry for the “of course it is” files…there’s word that the partial government shutdown continuing could delay Americans getting tax refunds. You see, the IRS is one of the departments shut down as President Trump and Congressional Democrats argue over funding a border wall. As the shutdown continues, the IRS says Americans can still file their 2018 tax returns, but they will not be able to process any refunds until after the shutdown ends. But don’t think that means you’re off the hook for paying your taxes – those will be due as scheduled – April 15th. The reasoning is simple. For now only 12-point-five percent of the ten-thousand IRS employees are working. Once tax-filing season picks up steam later this month, they just may not have the manpower to process returns. If the shutdown ends soon, Americans will probably not notice any delay in getting their refunds. If it drags on into February however, it is likely there will be delays.
2 Trump: No Border Security Without Wall
In case you were thinking the partial shutdown would have President Trump wavering about the border wall funding, think again. He maintains that there “cannot be border security without a wall.” Trump made a surprise appearance in the White House briefing room yesterday as federal government fracas continues - saying exactly that. Not taking questions from reporters, Trump offered a lengthy statement that included his position that the wall is needed to halt illegal immigration and stop the flow of illegal drugs. To review, the shutdown was prompted by Trump's demand for $5.6-billion dollars to help construct the massive wall. Democrats have flatly rejected the demand. With the majority of this year’s funding secured last year, the remainng quarter of the federal government ran out of money on December 22nd.
3 The Historic 116th Class Of Congress Is Seated
Barriers are breaking on Capitol Hill. No other Congress has ever looked like the 116th class of Congress that was sworn in yesterday. A record number of female lawmakers are now on the Hill – among them: The first two Muslim women to serve in Congress, Representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib.The first Native American women, including Representatives Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland are serving. Texas sent the state's first two first Latina members to Congress and New England is shattering the glass ceiling by sending two black Congresswomen to serve, as well. As for the Speaker role – California Democrat Nancy Pelosi, the first and so far only female House speaker, made history as she won back her position. As House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy transferred the gavel to Pelosi, he called her an experienced legislator and a true trailblazer. He said all Republicans and Democrats have a duty to make Congress work for the American people. Those are sentiments Pelosi echoed in her “welcome” speech. Pelosi said that lawmakers should be champions of the middle class – and that the House is again renewing the "great American experiment." Pelosi argued that climate change is the "existential threat of our time, a crisis manifested in natural disasters of epic proportions." After taking the oath of office, Pelosi called the House to order "on behalf of all America's children." Across the way in the Senate…Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is delivered opening remarks on the Senate floor – and said a bicameral and bipartisan collaboration is a "priority" when it comes to re-opening the government and funding for border security. The Kentucky Republican pushed for funding President Trump's border wall and called the shutdown "political theater" fueled by Democrats.