World watching: US government shutdown over border wall row

US government shutdown over border wall row

A partial US government shutdown has taken effect after US lawmakers failed to break a budget impasse. Mr Trump, who has to sign off any deal, is insisting at least $5bn (£4bn) in government funding be included to help build his long-promised US border wall. Lawmakers adjourned from last-minute talk efforts on Friday evening.

What will the shutdown mean?

About 380,000 government employees will be made to take temporary, unpaid leave.

Meanwhile, 420,000 employees working in essential roles – considered necessary for the “protection of life and property” – will keep working, without being paid.

In practice, this means that:

  • Customs and border staff will keep working, although their pay will be delayed. Airports will continue operating.
  • About 80% of National Parks employees will be sent home, and parks could close – although some may stay open with limited staff and facilities.
  • About 90% of housing department workers will take unpaid leave, which could delay loan processing and approvals.
  • Most of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will be sent on unpaid leave, including those who assist taxpayers with queries.
  • The Food and Drug administration will pause routine inspections but “continue vital activities”.

The remaining 75% of the federal government is fully funded until September 2019 – so the defence, veterans affairs, labour and education departments are not affected.

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