1 Trump Digs In, Vows To Never Give Up On Border Wall
In case you weren’t sure about his resolve, President Trump is vowing to “never give up” his campaign to build a massive border wall. Speaking in New Orleans, Trump again called the border situation a humanitarian and security crisis. He said women and children are being ruthlessly exploited at the U.S.-Mexican border. Beyond that, Trump insisted that illicit drugs are flowing through the southern border and are “destroying the fabric” of our country. What he hasn’t addressed? The three under border tunnels officials have found in the last month in Nogales. Of course, Democrats have accused Trump of “manufacturing a crisis” to get money for the wall, the President still appears to be resisting the urge to declare a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border. Addressing reporters at the White House, Trump again noted that he has the right to do so, but said he doesn’t want to – and that the partial government shutdown “could be easily resolved” if Democrats would get on board.
2 Shutdown Hitting Americans Where It Hurts: Air Travel
As the partial government shutdown continues, the vast majority of Americans aren’t feeling any pinch. That is, unless they’re planning to fly somewhere. Travelers are airports across the country are reporting increased delays – sometimes having to arrive three or even four hours early to make their flights. This, as a growing number of TSA agents just aren’t showing up. It’s even worse in Atlanta, Houston, Miami and Washington DC airports, which have seen lanes being condensed due to lack of personnel – or whole terminals closed. How bad is it really? The TSA has confirmed that unscheduled absences of its passenger screeners reached 7.6% yesterday – that’s more than twice the rate from a year ago. It’s not as though officials aren’t trying to retain their staffers – who missed their first check on Friday – the agency said it’s been handing out $500 bonuses to those that do show up.
3 FDA Resuming Food Inspections
One part of the government getting back to work for you today? The Food and Drug Administration, who will resume inspections of food facilities today. The FDA hasn't inspected places that produce food since the partial government shutdown began more than three weeks ago. FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb says that hundreds of furloughed workers have agreed to come back to work without pay. Gottlieb says they'll resume high-risk food inspections – which includes cheese, other dairy products, and some fresh produce. This work is being done by an inspectorate that's largely going unpaid,” Gottlieb offers via Twitter. “These men and women are the tip of the spear in our consumer protection mission. They're the very front line. And they're on the job. The entire nation owes them gratitude. I'm inspired by their dedication.”