Shutdown Day 21

Friday, January 11, marks Day 21 of the partial federal government shutdown. This ties the record set in December 1995 for the longest funding gap in the modern era of federal budgets. Today (1/11) also marks the day that some 800,000 federal workers will miss their first paycheck. Assuming a deal isn’t reached today (which isn’t very likely), Saturday, January 12 will set a new record. Every day the shutdown continues beyond January 12 will continue to set a new record.

News from “Inside-the-Beltway” is coming out fast and furiously, and the latest reports predict that the President will declare a national emergency soon to get the funding that he wants to build the border wall. Such a declaration will likely set off a flurry of legal actions that will unfold soon after that.

The shutdown is starting to impact EPA and drinking water. A meeting of the Local Government Advisory Committee that had been scheduled for January 10-11 didn’t happen, and it’s unclear whether additional drinking water meetings scheduled for early February will go forward as planned. It’s hard to predict when the federal government will return to normal operations, as it will take a few weeks for EPA and other agencies to transition back once funding is restored – and nobody knows when the funding restoration will occur.