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federal government shutdown

Updated at 9 p.m. ET

After an at-times heated debate, the Senate on Thursday, as expected, failed to approve either of the competing measures that would have ended the standoff over border wall funding.

If nothing else, the votes seemed to spur a flurry of efforts to find a way to end the standoff. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., announced on the Senate floor after the measures failed that he spoke with President Trump about a three-week stopgap bill to reopen the government.

Photo by Steven Brooke

The percentage of TSA airport screeners missing work has hit 10 percent as the partial government shutdown stretches into its fifth week. 

Sabrina Rubich shopped for milk, bananas and other basics this week at an Albertson's grocery store in Missoula, Mont., with her nine-month-old son, Kenny. When she got to the checkstand she paid for some of her groceries with money from the USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP—which is issuing its February payments early.

Rubich is one of about 39 million people who are now spending their SNAP payments not knowing when the next one will come due to the federal government shutdown.

As the partial government shutdown approaches the one-month mark, members of one branch of the military are feeling its effects particularly hard: the Coast Guard. Here, in coastal Southwest Florida, one family-owned establishment is helping those in need.

As the partial government shutdown continues into its third week, federal workers in Florida are applying for unemployment to make up for lost pay.

Flickr Creative Commons

One of the federal programs affected by the partial government shutdown is the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, or SNAP. If the shutdown continues into March, funding for the program could run out. And in Florida that means a lot of low-income and homeless veterans may have to fend for themselves. More veterans in Florida rely on food stamps than any other state.

Photo by Steven Brooke

Florida airports are helping federal workers who aren't getting paid during the government shutdown by offering free food, holding a food drive and opening a food bank. 

Amid the U.S. Government shutdown now going on 20 days, federal employees and their agencies in Florida are feeling it in different ways. Still, the question of when the shutdown will end looms over the minds of many.

Long-time federal contractor John Woodson arrived at an unemployment office in Washington, D.C. early Thursday morning. Ordinarily, Woodson would be receiving a paycheck, but because of the partial government shutdown, Woodson spent his day filing an unemployment claim instead.

"We should still be at work right now," said Woodson. "Politicians should handle this — don't put this on the citizens. You're hurting us."

Even if Woodson can get unemployment, which pays up to $425 a week in D.C., he says it won't be enough to care for his family.

As federal workers miss their first paychecks since the partial government shutdown began three weeks ago, frustration, anxiety and anger are rising.

Across the country this week, federal workers and industry leaders are starting to organize and rally to demand an end to the partial government shutdown.

"Trump, open the government — today," chanted the hundreds of federal employees and aviation industry executives gathered on the Capitol lawn in Washington, D.C., Thursday.

It took three full weeks — 21 days — for President Bill Clinton and the Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich to settle an impasse that partially shut down the government in 1995-96.

That particular moment is a landmark in U.S. political history, birthing a new era of American gridlock that arguably led to the sharp partisanship that has gripped the nation — and delivered a new record for a partial government shutdown, marking Day 22 on Saturday.

Let's start with the big picture.

There are about 8,000 slaughterhouses and meat processors in the United States that can't legally operate without a U.S. Department of Agriculture inspector on-site. Those inspectors are working through the shutdown.

Meanwhile, 80,000 or so other food factories handle everything else, from cauliflower to cookies. The Food and Drug Administration oversees them with a very different regulatory philosophy.

Miami International Airport is closing a terminal this weekend due to the government shutdown because security screeners have been calling in sick at twice the airport's normal rate.

As a partial government shutdown continues into its third week, NASA announced the delay of a test flight of SpaceX’s Commercial Crew capsule. The private company is assessing any impacts the partial government shutdown might have on upcoming launches.

New Bottled Brews Delayed By Government Shutdown

Jan 11, 2019

Craft beer drinkers in the U.S. may see fewer new bottled beers coming out in the next few months.

That's because the federal agency that approves brewery labels is closed, a result of the government shutdown.

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau is part of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. One of the TTB's jobs is to review beverage alcohol labels for things like alcohol content or fluid ounces in a bottle.

Employees of Florida’s federal prisons are asking the state’s members of congress to push for a reversal of the U.S. government shutdown. Workers held a rally in Downtown Tallahassee on Thursday.

Although the Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1st, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Weather Service (NWS) and the National Hurricane Center (NHC) use the months in between for critical research.

So what effect might a prolonged federal government shutdown have on hurricane forecasting and research?

President Trump used his first prime-time address from the Oval Office to make the case for his controversial border wall. The president's demand for $5.7 billion in wall funding — and Democrats' opposition — has led to a partial shutdown of the federal government.

Here we check some of the arguments made by the president and top Democrats in their response.

Trump's Speech

Claim 1: Humanitarian and security crisis

"There is a growing humanitarian and security crisis at our Southern border."

President Trump delivered the first Oval Office address of his presidency Tuesday night — and it came in the midst of a protracted partial government shutdown.

There were a lot of questions going into the address, but there were at least as many afterward — especially, and most importantly: What now?

So what did we learn from the president's address and the rare Democratic response? Here are seven insights:

The address and Democratic response have completed. Stay tuned to WUSF 89.7 for analysis and more, and here online.

President Trump is addressing the nation about border security tonight (Tuesday, Jan. 8). It is expected to start at 9 p.m. Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Charles Schumer will give a joint response immediately following.

The Department of the Interior is one of the parts of the federal government affected by the current shutdown. But you can still visit South Florida's national parks.

Tom Brandner and his family were hoping to visit Dry Tortugas National Park during their Key West vacation.

That was not to be — but not because of the shutdown. The ferry to the national park was full.

"We wanted to book it about a month ago, but they were sold out," said Brandner, who is from Columbia, SC.

With no deal in sight to keep the government funded, hundreds of thousands of federal employees will either not be returning to work after holiday vacations or will be back on the job but without pay.

President Trump reiterated Tuesday that he is in no mood to compromise over funding for a wall along the southern border, and Democrats who oppose the measure are showing no signs of budging either.

Updated at 10:48 p.m. ET

The House passed a short-term funding bill Thursday night that includes the money for additional border security President Trump wants — but the measure is unlikely to pass the Senate, raising the likelihood of a partial government shutdown that would begin Friday night at midnight.

'Campaign to Fix the Debt' Hits Tampa Bay Airwaves

Oct 15, 2013

The ad will be run in Florida, nine other states and in Washington, D.C. The ad will be mainly focused in the Tallahassee and Tampa markets and is expected to run from Tuesday until Thursday. The commercial features Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles -- who were both appointed by President Barack Obama to lead the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform to craft a plan to lower the national debt -- complaining about politicians in Washington for avoiding the issue.