1 Senate Fails To Make Progress Toward Ending Shutdown
The partial shutdown of the federal government will continue. This, as two competing bills aimed at ending the shutdown, failed to clear a big procedural hurdle in the Senate. The first bill involved Trump's compromise proposal, trading temporary protections for Dreamers for nearly $6-billion in border wall funding. Trump's plan would also fund affected government agencies and departments through September. Democrats put forth the second measure, which would extend funding for affected government agencies and departments until February 8th – the idea bring that there’d be time to negotiate. In the end, both efforts went down in flames as the partial shutdown is in its 35th day. Meantime, tens of thousands of government contractors are completely without work until the shutdown is lifted. But there was another funding bill that failed…courtesy of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. He shot down an effort to pay members of the Coast Guard. Louisiana Senator John Kennedy tried to pass by unanimous consent a bill that would get them their paychecks even if the shutdown Schumer objected – and it’s dead in the water. To review, most military service members fall under the fully-funded Department of Defense. However, the Coast Guard is part of Homeland Security, which is not funded. Schumer said he wants the government to open for all federal employees, not just one part of it.
2 Trump Pushes Border Wall After Shutdown Bills Fail
Sure President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi exchanged some calm words via social media in the wake of the State of the Union postponement on Wednesday. But that that was then, and this is now. If statements from both of them are a harbinger of what’s to come, they’re both locked and loaded in a fighting stance. First, Trump told reporters at the White House that the Republican measures "won" – meaning more people voted to pass them than not, but allowed that both fell short of the 60-vote margin needed for passage. He also stuck by his belief that a wall is necessary, highlighted the latest caravan of thousands of immigrants heading for the border. He also floated the idea that some money for “the wall” could stop the stalemate And then there’s Speaker Pelosi, who outwardly rejects Mr. Trump's proposal – calling it “not a reasonable request.” Saying that the Republicans need to to reopen government before negotiations even begin, Pelosi added that Democrats must take a hard stand in rejecting the use of shutdowns to get concessions or politicians will continue to shut down the government in the future as a negotiating tactic.
3 Risky Phone Use Leading To More Distracted Driving
Driving is getting more dangerous these days, and you can thank phones for that, although the issue isn't necessarily people taking a call while behind the wheel. While a new report by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety says cellphone use on the road for talking is actually down, drivers were “observed manipulating their phones” 57% more often last year than four years ago. This includes things like texting, browsing the Internet or using phones for navigation, audio, music and more. The report notes that in 2017 about 800 people were killed by drivers using their phones for something other than a call. In fact, researchers recently found that 23% of people were doing something other than focusing on the road when behind the wheel. Things distracting them included:
Talking on hand-held cellphone
Manipulating hand-held cellphone
Holding hand-held cellphone
Wearing bluetooth earpiece/headset with mic
Wearing headphones or earbuds
Manipulating in-vehicle system
Talking or singing
Eating or drinking