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U.S. government shutdown sparks protests as workers go unpaid

Protests in U.S. over shutdown. Photo: AP

Protests in U.S. over shutdown.  Photo: AP

Washington, January 11 (RHC)-- In the United States, some 800,000 federal workers who’ve been furloughed or forced to work without compensation will receive no paycheck today, as the partial government shutdown stretches into its 21st day with no resolution in sight. 

On Thursday, government employees and their unions staged rallies outside federal buildings across the United States.  Elaine Suriano, a furloughed EPA scientist, speaking at a protest in Washington, D.C., said: If this situation continues longer, I’ll have to go into my retirement money to pay the bills.  The bills keep coming; they don’t stop.” 

The protests came as the U.S. president traveled to McAllen, Texas, along the U.S.-Mexico border Thursday to repeat his demand for more than $5 billion in funding for a border wall. 

In what would be an unprecedented move, Trump is considering declaring a national emergency in a bid to circumvent Congress, and he has ordered the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to look into raiding funds from a $13.9 billion disaster relief bill meant to help Puerto Rico, Florida, Texas and California recover from deadly hurricanes and wildfires. 

Many legal scholars and lawmakers say such a move would violate federal law and could set a dangerous precedent.  Carol Rose of the American Civil Liberties Union said; “He can try, but he’s going to be challenged in court by the ACLU and by about a million other groups.” 

Edited by Pavel Jacomino
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