On January 25th Congress passed and the President signed a bill to end the government shutdown through February 15, giving Congress three more weeks to reach a deal on border security.  Bipartisan congressional opposition to the President’s demand for a physical border wall remains constant. Yet, despite signs of bipartisan progress in House and Senate negotiations on viable alternatives, President Trump has deemed these talks “a waste of time.”   

As a possible  alternative to a shutdown, the President now suggests the most extreme and constitutionally dubious step of declaring a “national emergency” at the southern border, allowing him to bypass the need for congressional approval to reallocate funds for his wall.  This unprecedented approach also faces strong congressional opposition, as well as serious legal challenges.  There is little doubt that a new government shutdown within the next two weeks remains a very real and serious threat.

Working with the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), we have launched a new countdown website called www.shutdownticker.com where members and the public can contact members of Congress and tell them they do not want another government shutdown. I encourage you to share this website with your members, as well as the sharable social media graphics on the site.

If you have any questions about the potential shutdown, please do not hesitate to contact Scott Frey at sfrey@afscme.org. If you have questions about the website or social media campaign, please contact Blaine Rummel at brummel@afscme.org.

Lee A. Saunders, President, AFSCME