Trump recalls 50,000 workers without pay; shutdown costs hit $1 billion a week

Trump recalls 50,000 workers without pay; shutdown costs hit $1 billion a week

Locked out federal workers rally in Washington to demand an end to the Trump shutdown. | AFGE WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump called 50,000 federal workers back to their jobs, but without pay, even as the costs of his lockout/shutdown of their agencies and others hit $1 billion a week. The cost is so high that now even Trump’s own top economist admits it could end U.S. economic growth and potentially send the nation into recession. In a study, the Center for American Progress puts the overall cost to the economy of Trump’s shutdown at $2 billion every two weeks, figuring 2-week pay periods for the 800,000 affected workers alone. That’s a billion bucks a week. Trump ordered a shutdown of Cabinet departments—including Agriculture, Commerce, Housing, Interior, Justice, and Transportation—plus many other agencies, notably the Environmental Protection Agency, starting at midnight on Dec. 21 because he opposed congressional money bills to fund them. Other departments and their workers, notably at the departments of Defense, Education, Labor, and Health and Human Services, have been funded. But another Trump order cancels pay raises for all two million federal workers, regardless of whether they’re locked out, paid, unpaid, working or not. As anti-government, anti-worker White House advisors—ideologues previously employed by right-wing think tanks—egged him on, Trump gleefully took credit for the shutdown/lockout. He refused to sign any money bills until and unless lawmakers bowed, scraped, and gave him $5.7 billion to build his controversial Mexican Wall. The Democratic-run House refuses to do so and […]

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