Several hundred of the 46,000 furloughed IRS employees recalled to work last week have gotten permission to stay off the job because of financial hardship. Nearly 60 percent of the IRS workforce was called back, without pay, during the partial government shutdown so they could handle tax returns and send out refunds. The official start of the tax filing season comes Monday. The Trump administration has promised that taxpayers owed refunds will be paid on time. The IRS employees’ union contract allows them to be absent from work if they experience hardship during a shutdown. The union and the IRS aren’t providing specific numbers on employees not working and invoking the hardship provision.
President Donald Trump is urging state and local Republican leaders to “stick together” on his border wall demands. Trump held a conference call with state, local and community leaders Wednesday on the 33rd day of the partial government shutdown. During his remarks, Trump said he would not back down in his push for $5.7 billion for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, calling it the “right policy.”
The president also acknowledged there was “pressure” due to the shutdown, but argued it was worse for Democrats. Trump said…I think there’s more pressure on them than there is on us.” Polls show Trump gets most of the blame for the shutdown. Trump said: “We need this approved. We have to stick together.
Two different votes are set in the Republican-controlled Senate with the aim to end the partial government shutdown. One vote Thursday will be on a bill reflecting President Donald Trump’s demand for border wall funding in exchange for temporary protections for some immigrants.
A second vote is set for a measure already passed by the Democratic-controlled House to reopen the government through Feb. 8. It doesn’t allow money for a border wall but gives bargainers more time to talk. Neither bill is expected to advance under Senate rules requiring at least 60 votes.
Senate Democrats have dismissed Trump’s proposal, and it’s unclear whether Senate Republicans will back Trump’s insistence that the government remain closed until lawmakers allocate $5.7 billion for his long-promised border wall with Mexico.