After a Wichita Falls woman was banned from Walmart for riding around in an electric cart drinking wine from a Pringles can, some Austin residents decided to celebrate her actions by drinking wine out of a Pringles can in a Walmart parking lot.
More than 10,000 people indicated an interest and 2,000 said they would attend the “Drinking wine from a Pringles can in Walmart parking lot” event Wednesday.
"We’re gonna meet in the parking lot of this Walmart and drink wine or whatever you like from a Pringles can," the event description reads. "You wanna ride an electric scooter while you drink from a Pringles can? That’s cool. You wanna sit on the tailgate of your Ford F-150? That’s fine too."
However, only three people turned out, KVUE reported.
Police were aware of the event but did not intervene. Police said an open container violation is a misdemeanor and comes with a $200 fine.
No one was fined.
The partial government shutdown that began Dec. 22 continues as a stalemate between President Donald Trump and congressional leaders over his demand for more than $5 billion to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Update 12:45 p.m. EST Jan. 17: Trump signed a bill Wednesday that requires the government to compensate federal workers affected by the ongoing shutdown for wages lost, work performed or leave used during the shutdown.
The Government Employee Fair Treatment Act of 2019 passed in the House last week. It requires that employees be compensated “on the earliest date possible after the lapse ends, regardless of scheduled pay dates.”
Update 2:35 p.m. EST Jan. 16: Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Wednesday that despite the partial government shutdown, federal officials are prepared to deal with issues that might arise when Trump delivers his State of the Union address later this month.
“The Department of Homeland Security and the US Secret Service are fully prepared to support and secure the State of the Union,” Nielsen said in a statement posted on Twitter.
Her comments came after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked the president to delay the address, scheduled January 29, due to security concerns as the shutdown dragged into its 26th day.
Update 10:25 a.m. EST Jan. 16: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday asked Trump to delay his State of the Union address, which is expected later this month, as the partial government shutdown continues.
“Given the security concerns and unless government re-opens this week, I suggest that we work together to determine another suitable date after government has re-opened for this address or for you to consider delivering your State of the Union address in writing to the Congress on January 29th,” Pelosi said in a letter sent Wednesday.
Update 1:41 p.m. EST Jan. 15: A federal judge has denied a request from unionized federal employees who filed a lawsuit requiring the government pay air traffic controllers who are working without pay during the shutdown, CNN reported.
Update 1:45 p.m. EST Jan. 14: A group of federal employees who was ordered to work without pay amid the ongoing shutdown filed suit last week against the government, comparing their situations to involuntary servitude and accusing Trump and other officials of violating the 13th Amendment, according to The Washington Post.
In the lawsuit, filed Wednesday by four federal workers from Texas and West Virginia who are employed by the departments of Justice, Agriculture and Transportation, attorneys said the workers could face discipline or removal if they failed to continue working despite the fact that they were not getting paid during the shutdown. The Post reported the lawsuit also accused officials of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act.
“Our plaintiffs find themselves in the exact same boat as virtually every other furloughed federal employee: bills to pay and no income to pay them,” the workers' attorney, Michael Kator, told the Post. “As this drags on, their situation will become more and more dire.”
The partial government shutdown entered its 24th day Monday, making it the longest in history. The second-longest government shutdown lasted 21 days in the mid-90s, during President Bill Clinton's time in office.
Update 9:05 a.m. EST Jan. 14: Trump railed against Democrats on Monday morning as the partial government shutdown entered its 24th day.
"I've been waiting all weekend," Trump wrote Monday in a tweet. "Democrats must get to work now. Border must be secured!"
The House, which is controlled by Democrats, has passed six bills to re-open government agencies closed by the partial government shutdown, according to Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupree.
Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated earlier this month that he would not bring funding bills passed by the House before the Senate, as the president has signaled several times that he would not sign a spending bill that failed to fund his border wall.
"The package presented yesterday by Democratic leaders can only be seen as a time wasting act," he said on Jan. 3.
Update 3:15 p.m. EST Jan. 11: Trump said Friday that it would be easy for him to declare a national emergency to get a wall along the country’s southern border built, but that he has no plans to do so.
“I’m not going to do it so fast,” the president said during a discussion about border security with state, local and community leaders at the White House. “This is something that Congress can do.”
Some 800,000 workers, more than half of them still on the job, will miss their first paycheck on Friday, and Washington is close to setting a dubious record for the longest government shutdown in U.S. history.
Update 1:25 p.m. EST Jan. 10: Trump said Thursday he will not travel later this month to Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum amid the ongoing partial government shutdown.
The president was scheduled to leave for the trip Jan. 21.
“Because of the Democrats intransigence on Border Security and the great importance of Safety for our Nation, I am respectfully cancelling my very important trip to Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum,” Trump wrote Thursday afternoon on Twitter. “My warmest regards and apologies to the @WEF!”
Last year, a brief government shutdown threatened to derail his trip to Davos, where he asserted that his "America First" agenda can go hand-in-hand with global cooperation.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is leading the U.S. delegation to the annual Davos event, which courts high-profile businesspeople and political figures and other elites. Other members of the Cabinet are scheduled to attend as well as Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
Update 9:05 a.m. EST Jan. 10: Trump will travel Thursday to Texas to visit the southern border after negotiations to end the partial government shut down crumbled.
The president walked out of discussions Wednesday with Congressional leaders after Democrats again refused to approve of $5.7 billion of funding for his border wall.
“The Opposition Party & the Dems know we must have Strong Border Security, but don’t want to give ‘Trump’ another one of many wins!” Trump wrote Thursday on Twitter.
The president is set to travel to McAllen on Thursday, where he plans to visit a border patrol station for a roundtable on immigration and border security.
Update 3:40 p.m. EST Jan. 9: The president walked out of discussions with leaders in the House and Senate on Wednesday amid the ongoing government shutdown.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said the president asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi whether she would agree to fund his border wall and that he walked out of the meeting when she answered in the negative.
“He said, ‘If I open up the government, you won’t do what I want,’” Schumer said.
The president wrote on Twitter that the meeting was “a total waste of time.”
“I asked what is going to happen in 30 days if I quickly open things up, are you going to approve Border Security which includes a Wall or Steel Barrier?” he wrote. “Nancy said, NO. I said bye-bye, nothing else works!”
Update 2:35 p.m. EST Jan. 9: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Republicans are standing beside the president Wednesday as the debate over border wall funding continues.
Trump and Vice President Mike Pence met with Senate Republicans for their party lunch Wednesday afternoon.
“The Republicans are unified,” Trump told reporters after the meeting. “We want border security. We want safety for our country.”
The president accused Democrats of blocking funding for the wall, “because I won the presidency and they think they can try and hurt us.” Democrats have called the proposed wall costly, ineffective and "immoral" and say Trump's "manufacturing a crisis."
Trump and Pence are scheduled to meet at 3 p.m. with House and Senate leaders from both parties at the White House.
Update 1:30 p.m. EST Jan. 9: Trump said Wednesday that his border wall has "tremendous Republican support” ahead of a meeting with GOP lawmakers as the shutdown drags into its 19th day.
"I think we're going to win,” Trump said. “We need border security, very simple.”
In response to a reporter’s question about how long the president would be willing to let the shutdown last in order to secure funding for the wall, Trump said, “whatever it takes.”
Update 12:50 p.m. EST Jan. 9: During a bill signing at the White House on Wednesday, the president pushed again for funding of his border wall, arguing that human trafficking can’t be stopped without it.
"As long as we have a border that is not secure, we're going to suffer the consequences of that," Trump said.
The president brushed off critics who have said a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border would be ineffective to address immigration issues.
“They say a wall is a medieval solution, that’s true,” Trump said. “It worked then, it works even better now”
Democrats have called Trump's promised wall costly, ineffective and "immoral" and say he's "manufacturing a crisis."
The bill Trump signed is designed to enhance an annual State Department report that measures global efforts to eliminate human trafficking.
Update 10:35 a.m. EST Jan. 9: Officials will hold a series of meetings Wednesday in an attempt to end the government shutdown that began 19 days ago, according to Politico.
The president, Vice President Mike Pence and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen will meet Wednesday afternoon with Senate Republicans for their party lunch, the news site reported. Then, at 3 p.m., the president will meet with House and Senate leaders from both parties at the White House, Poliltico reported, noting it will mark “the third such bipartisan meeting in a week’s time.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Wednesday morning that Trump is still considering the possibility of declaring a national emergency to get the wall built.
"(It's) something we're still looking at, something that's certainly still on the table," she said, according to Bloomberg News. "The best solution is to be able to work with Congress to get this done."
The president did not mention the possibility of declaring a national emergency to get the wall built Tuesday night, during his first address from the Oval Office. He wrote Wednesday morning on Twitter, “we MUST fix our Southern Border!”
Trump is scheduled to visit the border Thursday.
Update 10:50 p.m. EST Jan. 8: In his first ever televised Oval Office address, President Donald Trump urged congressional Democrats to fund his border wall Tuesday night, blaming illegal immigration for the scourge of drugs and violence in the U.S.
Democrats in response accused Trump appealing to “fear, not facts” and manufacturing a border crisis for political gain.
He argued for spending some $5.7 billion for a border wall on both security and humanitarian grounds as he sought to put pressure on newly empowered Democrats amid the extended shutdown.
He will visit the Mexican border in person on Thursday.
Update 8:07 p.m. EST Jan. 8: The New York Times is reporting that Trump will not declare a national emergency this evening in order to circumvent Congress to get funds to build the wall. According to the times, “administration officials who had seen a draft copy of his speech said the president was not preparing to do so.”
Update 10:45 a.m. EST Jan. 8: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer will deliver the Democratic response to Trump's planned prime time address, according to Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupree.
Update 1:50 p.m. EST Jan. 7: Trump said he plans to address the nation Tuesday night as Democrats continue to stand firm on their refusal to fund the president’s border wall.
“I am pleased to inform you that I will Address the Nation on the Humanitarian and National Security crisis on our Southern Border Tuesday night at 9 P.M. Eastern,” Trump said Monday afternoon in a tweet.
The announcement came after White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump plans to visit the southern border on Thursday.
Update 1:40 p.m. EST Jan. 7: Trump on Thursday will visit the southern border amid the ongoing shutdown impasse, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.
Update 9:10 a.m. EST Jan. 7: The partial government shutdown entered its 17th day Monday with no end in sight despite meetings over the weekend meant to help bring the shutdown to a close, according to Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree.
Update 3:30 p.m. EST Jan. 4: Trump said Friday that he’s considering using his executive authority to get a wall built on the U.S.-Mexico border.
“We can call a national emergency because of the security of our country, absolutely,” Trump said. “I haven’t done it. I may do it.”
The president spoke with reporters Friday after meeting with congressional leaders amid the ongoing budget impasse. He said he’s designated a team to meet over the weekend with lawmakers to resolve the standoff.
Update 2:40 p.m. EST Jan. 4: At a news conference Friday, Trump confirmed he told congressional leaders that he would be willing to allow the government shut down to continue for months or years if Democrats refuse to fund his border wall.
“I don’t think (the government will remain closed that long) but I am prepared,” Trump said. “I hope it doesn’t go on even beyond a few more days.”
Trump met with top leaders from the House and Senate on Friday morning to discuss the ongoing partial government shutdown and his demand for $5.6 billion to fund a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The president said Friday’s meeting was “very, very productive,” though top Democrats told reporters after the meeting that little was accomplished.
“How do you define progress in a meeting?” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked reporters after the meeting. “When you have a better understanding of each other’s position? When you eliminate some possibilities? If that’s the judgement, we made some progress.”
Update 1:40 p.m. EST Jan. 4: Top Democrats said a meeting with Trump aimed at bringing the ongoing partial government shutdown to an end was contentious on Friday, with neither side willing to budge in the ongoing battle over funding for a border wall.
“We told the president we needed the government open," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters after the meeting. "He resisted. In fact, he said he'd keep the government closed for a very long period of time -- months or even years."
Update 9:20 a.m. EST Jan. 4: Trump is set to meet Friday morning with congressional leaders, though it was not clear whether the meeting would help bring to an end the partial government shutdown that began nearly two weeks ago.
The meeting, scheduled to take place at 11:30 a.m., will include newly sworn House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top leaders from the House and Senate, NPR reported.
House Democrats approved of a spending bill Thursday to re-open the government, prompting a veto threat from Trump.
“If either H.R. 21 or H.J. Res. 1 were presented to the President, his advisors would recommend that he veto the bill,” the White House said in a veto threat against the plans passed by House Democrats in the opening hours of the 116th Congress, according to Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree.
Update 11:45 p.m. EST Jan. 3: House Democrats have approved a plan to re-open the government without funding President Donald Trump’s promised border wall.
The largely party-line votes by the new Democratic majority came after Trump made a surprise appearance at the White House briefing room to pledge a continued fight for his signature campaign promise.
The Democratic package to end the shutdown includes a bill to temporarily fund the Department of Homeland Security at current levels through Feb. 8 as bipartisan talks continue.
It was approved, 239-192.
Update 11:15 p.m. EST Jan. 2: President Donald Trump said he remains “ready and willing” to work with Democrats to pass a government spending bill even as he refuses to budge over funding for his long-promised border wall.
Trump tweeted “Let’s get it done!” as the partial government shutdown continues with no end in sight.
Trump has invited the group back for a follow-up session Friday, the day after Nancy Pelosi is expected to become speaker of the House.
Earlier, they met Trump at the White House Wednesday for a briefing on border security.
The session did not yield any breakthroughs according to The Associated Press, and Democrats said they remained committed to introducing the legislation Thursday. The administration has so far rejected the plan, which does not include funding to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Schumer said Trump could not provide a “good answer” for opposing the bills. He added that Trump and Republicans “are now feeling the heat.”
Update 9:30 a.m. EST Jan. 2: Congressional leaders are expected to attend a briefing on border security Wednesday at the White House as the partial government shutdown continues, The Associated Press reported.
Among the lawmakers expected to attend the meeting are Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, according to the AP. Top incoming House Republicans, Kevin McCarthy of California and Steve Scalise of Louisiana, are also expected to attend.
The meeting is scheduled to take place at 3 p.m., The Wall Street Journal reported.
The newspaper noted that few, if any, compromises are likely to be offered at the session, which comes one day before Democrats take control of the House of Representatives.
Update 5 p.m. EST Jan. 1: Trump has invited congressional leaders to a border security briefing scheduled for Wednesday. The Associated Press reported the top two Democrats and Republicans from both the House and Senate have been invited. Other possible attendees and agenda have not been released.
The White House has not commented on the apparent invitations, the AP reported.
Update 12:35 p.m. EST Dec. 28: Trump threatened Friday to close the southern U.S. border if Democrats continued to refuse to fund his border wall.
“We build a Wall or we close the Southern Border,” he said in a series of tweets Friday morning.
Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told Fox News on Friday that Trump had canceled his plans for New Year’s Eve in light of the ongoing shutdown. Still, Drew Hammill, spokesman for House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, told The Associated Press on Friday that Democrats won’t fund the president’s “immoral, ineffective expensive wall.”
“While we await the President’s public proposal, Democrats have made it clear that, under a House Democratic Majority, we will vote swiftly to re-open government on Day One,” Hammill said.
Update 3:15 p.m. EST Dec. 27: The partial government shutdown that started Saturday is expected to last into the new year.
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise said in a statement obtained Thursday by C-SPAN that no votes were expected in the U.S. House of Representatives this week as the shutdown continues.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll released Thursday showed 47 percent of Americans hold Trump responsible for the partial government shutdown, despite the president’s assertion that Democrats are at fault.
The poll found 33 percent of adults blame Democrats in Congress.
In a pair of tweet Thursday, the president accused Democrats of “obstruction of the needed Wall.”
Update: 3:35 p.m. EST Dec. 25: President Trump spoke to members of the five branches of the U.S. military via video conference Tuesday, sending them his well-wishes before discussing the partial government shutdown and the country's need for a wall:“I can tell you it's not going to be open until we have a wall, a fence, whatever they would like to call it."
Update 3:50 p.m. EST Dec. 23: Incoming chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said on “Fox News Sunday” that the shutdown could continue into the next year.
“It is very possible that the shutdown will go beyond the 28th and into the new Congress,” Mulvaney said.
Update 3:55 p.m. EST Dec. 22: The Senate does not estimate a vote on a deal to end the partial government shutdown until next Thursday at the earliest, tweeted Jamie Dupree, Cox Media Group Washington correspondent.
The Senate Cloakroom, a Twitter account for the Republican side of the Senate floor, tweeted the following schedule for the Senate: “Following today’s session, the Senate will convene on Monday, December 24th at 11:00 am for a Pro Forma Session. Following the Pro Forma Session, we will next convene at 4:00 pm on Thursday, December 27th and consider business if a deal has been reached on government funding”
President Trump has been active on Twitter today, saying he’s in the White House today “working hard,” and reaffirming his support for tough border security.
“I won an election, said to be one of the greatest of all time, based on getting out of endless & costly foreign wars & also based on Strong Borders which will keep our Country safe. We fight for the borders of other countries, but we won’t fight for the borders of our own!” the President tweeted.
Update 3:00 p.m. EST Dec. 22: White House officials are warning that the government shutdown will last through the holidays, as Trump is not relenting on his demand, tweeted New York Times White House correspondent Katie Rogers. "We have continued to put forth what we think is an important expectation ... which is $5 billion in border security," a senior White House official told reporters, according to Rogers’ tweet.
Update 12:30 p.m. EST Dec. 22: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave an update on government funding negotiations. He said a procedural agreement was made to “create space” to allow discussions between Senate Democrats and White House. There will be no votes until Trump and Senate Democrats reach an agreement.
Update 9:06 a.m. EST Dec. 22: The Senate is expected to meet today at noon to see if they can hammer out an agreement that President Trump will sign.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told press Friday night that “constructive talks are underway," for such an agreement, reported CNN.
If any new deal is announced, lawmakers would be given 24 hours notice to return to Washington for a vote.
Update 1:31 a.m. EST Dec. 22: In a joint statement released shortly after the partial government shutdown went into effect, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y,) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) were critical of President Donald Trump and called the government closures the “Trump shutdown.”
"President Trump has said more than 25 times that he wanted a shutdown and now he has gotten what he wanted," Schumer and Pelosi said in the statement. “Democrats have offered Republicans multiple proposals to keep the government open, including one that already passed the Senate unanimously, and all of which include funding for strong, sensible, and effective border security -- not the president’s ineffective and expensive wall.
“If President Trump and Republicans choose to continue this Trump Shutdown, the new House Democratic majority will swiftly pass legislation to re-open government in January.”
Update 10:45 p.m. EST Dec. 21: With a partial government shutdown expected at midnight, White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney instructed agencies to plan for a shutdown.
Mulvaney says in a memo for government executives that “we are hopeful that this lapse in appropriations will be of short duration” but that employees should report to work when scheduled to “undertake orderly shutdown activities.”
Update 8:19 p.m. EST Dec. 21: The Senate adjourned without a deal on spending, just after 8 p.m. Friday evening ensuring a partial government shutdown at midnight Friday.
Senators expect to return at noon Saturday as talks continue.
Update 7:09 p.m. EST Dec. 21: The House adjourned Friday evening and will return Saturday at noon which will likely trigger a partial shutdown.
Update 5:55 p.m. EST Dec. 21: With just over 6 hours left until the midnight deadline, Vice President Pence’s tie-breaking vote advanced the 47-47 tally after a marathon, five-hour voting session in the Senate that dragged on as senators rushed back to Washington.
The move doesn’t immediately end the threat of a partial federal shutdown, but it kick-starts negotiations as Congress tries to find a resolution to Trump’s demand for the wall.
Senators say they won’t vote on a final bill to fund the government until Trump and congressional leaders all agree to a deal.
Update 3:15 p.m. EST Dec. 21: Trump spoke with reporters before signing a criminal justice reform bill Friday.
"It's possible that we'll have a shutdown,” the president said. “I think the chances are probably very good because I don't think Democrats care so much about maybe this issue, but this is a very big issue”
The Republican-led House approved funding Thursday for Trump's border wall and sent the bill to the Senate.
Senators are holding a procedural vote Thursday afternoon to determine whether to move forward with the bill.
During a meeting with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer last week, Trump said he’d shut down the government if lawmakers failed to secure $5 billion in funding for a wall to span the U.S.-Mexico border.
“If we don’t have border security, we’ll shut down the government,” Trump said. “I’m going to shut it down for border security.”
Update 10:20 a.m. EST Dec. 21: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the officials plan to discuss “the funding bill and the importance of border security” at 10:30 a.m.
The president insisted on Twitter Friday morning that, “The Democrats now own the shutdown!”
Ten days earlier, Trump said during a meeting with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer that he would be “proud to shut down the government for border security.”
Original report: A potential government shutdown looms and President Donald Trump is tweeting, saying that if a spending plan isn’t passed and signed by midnight, it will be the Democrats fault when the government closes.
On Thursday night, after a meeting between House Republicans and the president, the House passed a spending bill that included $5 billion for Trump’s border wall.
The vote was 217-185, CNN reported.
The bill is in the hands of the Senate whose members have to act on it before the midnight deadline or the government closes.
Washington watchers believe the bill will not pass because of the money earmarked for the wall, CNN reported.
Democrats have said they will not support the money for the border and both sides of the Senate aisle are needed if the spending plan is to pass.
In a series of morning tweets by the President, he placed the blame on Democrats if the government shuts down.
The president said he would not sign the Senate-backed spending bill that does not include money for the border wall. The Senate plan would grant funding to keep the government operating until Feb. 8, The Washington Post reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
As the partial government shutdown continues, around 800,000 federal employees are either working without pay or have been furloughed – told to stay home.
Both of those situations mean that those federal workers will not be collecting a paycheck until the shutdown comes to an end.
While the hundreds of thousands of employees have missed at least one paycheck, those who are tasked with crafting and passing the legislation that will fund the government are still getting paid.
Members of Congress, in addition to the president, vice president, Cabinet members and others are still collecting their pay. Below is a list of how much they make and why their pay is not impacted by the partial shutdown.
Who isn’t getting paid?
About 300,000 federal employees have been furloughed – sent home from their jobs without being paid.
The other 500,000 federal employees are deemed “essential,” so they are working, but are not getting a paycheck. TSA agents are in this group, as are FBI agents. The 500,000 essential employees will receive back pay for the time they worked.
The 300,000 furloughed employees may not.
Who is getting paid and why?
Those who are getting paid amid the partial shutdown include:
The vice president
Members of the House and the Senate
Some administration officials
Supreme Court Justices
Service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines – they are funded through the Department of Defense budget which was passed late last year. However, members of the Coast Guard, which is funded through the Department of Homeland Security, are not being paid.
How much are they making?
Here is a look at the annual salaries for members of Congress, the administration, Cabinet members and the justices on the Supreme Court.
Speaker of the House (Nancy Pelosi, D-California): $223,500
House majority and minority leaders (Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland,
Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-California): $193,400
Senate president pro tempore (Charles Grassley, R-Iowa): $193,400
Senate majority and minority leaders (Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky,
Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York): $193,400
All representatives (including delegates and the resident commissioner from Puerto Rico): $174,000
Chief administrative officer: $172,500
Clerk of the House: $172,500
Sergeant at arms: $172,500
Legislative counsel: $172,500
Law revision counsel: $172,500 Parliamentarian: $172,500
Inspector general: $172,500
Director, interparliamentary affairs: $172,500
General counsel to the House: $172,500
All senators: $174,000
Secretary of the Senate: $172,500
Sergeant at arms and doorkeeper: $172,500
Legislative counsel: $172,500
Legal counsel: $172,500
President (Donald Trump): $400,000 – Trump donates his salary to various government programs.
Vice President (Mike Pence): $230,700
Cabinet members: $199,700
Supreme Court Justices:
Chief Justice (John Roberts): $267,000
Associate Justices: $255,300
Why are they getting paid?
The short answer is they are getting paid because the Constitution says so.
The salaries of senators and representatives are paid by the treasury and are set by Congress itself. Because they set their salaries, members of Congress must follow specific rules when it comes to changing their pay.
First, members of congress are paid under legislation that is separate from the appropriations bill that funds most of the government. That means the pot of money members of Congress are paid out of is not the same budget used to pay other federal employees.
According to Article I, Section 6 of the Constitution, Congress may not pass any bill that affects pay during its current term. So even if Congress members wanted to vote to suspend their pay during a partial government shutdown, that legislation could not take effect until at least 2020.
The president’s salary is covered in the Constitution in Article II, Section 1. Congress can change a president’s salary, but not during his or her term.
Who is voluntarily having their pay withheld?
More than 70 representatives and senators have asked that their pay be withheld or donated to a charity, according to a CNN story. Click here to see the list of those congressmen and women.
In the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election, Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, paid a small technology company thousands of dollars to raise his profile and attempt to rig online polls in Trump’s favor, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
In a meeting in early 2015 at Trump Tower, Cohen handed John Gauger, owner of RedFinch Solutions LLC, a Walmart bag filled with between $12,000 and $13,000 in cash and a boxing glove that Cohen claimed had been worn by a Brazilian mixed-martial arts fighter, the Journal reported. Gauger told the newspaper he had agreed to try to rig online polls to benefit Trump in exchange for $50,000, though he said he never received the rest of the expected payment from Cohen.
Gauger told the Journal that Cohen twice asked him to attempt to manipulate online polls in Trump’s favor. In January 2014, Cohen asked him to boost Trump’s ranking in an online CNBC poll of the nation’s top business leaders, a goal he attempted to accomplish by writing a computer script that repeatedly voted for Trump, the Journal reported. Gauger’s efforts failed to get Trump into the top 100 candidates for the poll, the newspaper reported.
In February 2015, three months before Trump announced his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination, Cohen asked Gauger to lift Trump’s ranking on a Drudge Report poll of possible GOP presidential candidates, according to the Journal. The poll ended with Trump in fifth place.
Gauger told the Journal that Cohen also had him create a Twitter account, @WomenForCohen, that was managed by a friend of Gauger’s. On the account, which remains live Thursday, Cohen was described as “strong, pit bull, sex symbol, no nonsense, business oriented, and ready to make a difference!”
In a statement to the Journal, Cohen denied having paid Gauger in cash, telling the newspaper, “All monies paid to Mr. Gauger were by check.”
In a statement released on Twitter, he added, “What I did was at the direction of and for the sole benefit of @realDonaldTrump @POTUS.”
“I truly regret my blind loyalty to a man who doesn’t deserve it,” he wrote.
Cohen asked in early 2017 for the Trump Organization to reimburse him $50,000 for payments made to RedFinch, despite not fully paying Gauger, according to the Journal. Cohen said the expenditure was for “technology services,” but he never detailed the charges for Trump Organization executives and they did not ask, the Journal reported.
Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani told the newspaper that Cohen’s decision to ask for full reimbursement, despite his failure to fully pay Gauger, showed Cohen was a thief.
“If one thing has been established, it’s that Michael Cohen is completely untrustworthy,” Giuliani said.
Cohen, who once famously claimed he’d take a bullet for Trump, broke with the president last year after agreeing to cooperate with federal investigators probing allegations of Russian election meddling and its possible ties to Trump and his campaign officials. Prosecutors with special counsel Robert Mueller’s office said last month that Cohen has provided “credible information” related to the probe.
A judge in December sentenced Cohen to three years in prison after he pleaded guilty to charges including multiple counts of tax evasion, lying to Congress and arranging illicit payments to silence a pair of women who posed a risk to Trump’s presidential campaign. Federal law requires that any payments made “for the purposes of influencing” an election must be reported in campaign finance disclosures.
Cohen is set to publicly appear next month for testimony before the House Oversight Committee.
A former Tennessee teacher who admitted to kidnapping a 15-year-old student in 2017, prompting a nationwide manhunt, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison with lifetime supervision.
Tad Cummins, 52, was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Nashville.
Cummins was a teacher at Culleoka Unit School in Columbia, Tennessee, when officials said he kidnapped the student and fled the state March 13, 2017, with the intent of having sex with her.
Cummins was the subject of a nationwide manhunt that ended April 20, 2017, when he and the victim were found in Cecilville, California.
He was charged with transporting a minor across state lines to engage in sexual conduct and obstruction of justice.
In court Wednesday, an assistant U.S. attorney read an impact statement written by the victim and addressed to Cummins.
“Mr. Cummins, what you did to me is unspeakable. I don’t know that any words could ever accurately express how much pain I have suffered and continue to suffer because of you,” the statement said, in part.
Cummins had been suspended from his teaching job on Feb. 6, 2017, after another student saw him kissing his victim, NBC News reported, citing a criminal complaint. He was fired the day after an Amber Alert was issued by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, and his teaching license was later revoked by the Tennessee Board of Education.
The girl’s family filed a lawsuit against Maury County Schools, claiming the district knew about Cummins’ predatory behavior leading up to his disappearance with the teen girl, according to WZTV-TV.
Cummins read a statement in court apologizing to his victim and his family.
"To the victim, I want you to know: I agree. This was not your fault. You were a kid. My misguided attempt to help you went sideways. Anything I can do to give you closure, I stand ready,” he said.
Vance County Schools said it is reducing its lunch menu options, including its offering of fresh fruits and vegetables, in an effort to conserve food and funding during the government shutdown.
School district officials posted to Facebook Tuesday saying they plan to revise lunch menus starting Jan. 21 to a minimum level, which means each lunch will include one main dish, bread, two vegetables, one fruit and milk.
Schools will no longer provide fresh produce, except at elementary schools where fresh fruit and vegetable options will be offered twice a week.
Bottled water, juice and ice cream will also no longer be offered after the district’s current inventory is gone.
The district uses federal funds to operate its nutrition program.
"We hope that normal lunch menus can be resumed as soon as possible once the shutdown has ended," the district said in a statement.
CBS and the Recording Academy have announced the first round of Grammy-nominated acts that will be performing at this year’s Grammy Awards. Acts taking the stage include Camila Cabello, Cardi B, Dan + Shay, Post Malone, Shawn Mendes, Janelle Monáe and Kacey Musgraves.
The 61st annual Grammy Awards, hosted by Alicia Keys, will take place from 5 to 8:30 p.m. PST on Sunday, Feb. 10 at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.
Cabello will be making her Grammy performance debut, according to a statement from the Grammys. She’s received two nominations for Best Pop Solo Performance (“Havana [Live]”) and Best Pop Vocal Album (Camila).
Rapper Cardi B is nominated for Record of the Year (“I Like It”), Album Of The Year (Invasion of Privacy), Best Pop Duo/Group Performance with Maroon 5 (“Girls Like You”), Best Rap Performance (“Be Careful”) and Best Rap Album (Invasion of Privacy).
Country group Dan + Shay are nominated for Best Country Duo/Group Performance (“Tequila”).
First-time Grammy nominee Post Malone received four nominations, Record of the Year (“Rockstar” with 21 Savage), Album Of The Year (Beerbongs & Bentleys), Best Pop Solo Performance (“Better Now”) and Best Rap/Sung Performance (“Rockstar”).
Mendes, also performing at the Grammys for the first time, is nominated for Song of the Year (“In My Blood”) and Best Pop Vocal Album (Shawn Mendes).
Monáe, a two-time Grammy winner, is up for Album Of The Year (Dirty Computer) and Best Music Video (“PYNK”).
Musgraves, another two-time Grammy winner, is up for four Grammy Awards: Album Of The Year (Golden Hour), Best Country Solo Performance (“Butterflies”), Best Country Song (“Space Cowboy”), and Best Country Album (Golden Hour).
The Grammy Awards will air on the CBS Network. More information can be found at www.grammy.com.
Karma came frozen this year.
A family in Petersburg, Kentucky, built a 9-foot-tall snowman this weekend. It was the most snow that Cody Lutz’s fiancé had ever seen, since she’s from Mississippi, WXIX reported.
Lutz, who is originally from Buffalo, built his soon-to-be wife a huge snowman using a large tree stump to help shore up the base, he told the television station.
But when Lutz got home from work Monday, he noticed two tire tracks through the yard. He thinks someone drove into the yard trying to knock down their snowman but ran into the stump, WXIX reported.
“Instant karma,” Lutz told WXIX. “It’s hilarious. You know, what goes around comes around, in good ways and bad ways. So, I guess everyone learns a valuable lesson here from Frosty.”
Officials said a trooper in Wilson County was shot and left for dead Monday night and a nurse driving by at the time is being credited for helping save his life.
Police said the shooting happened around 5:15 p.m. on N.C. Highway 42, about 8 miles northeast of Wilson, N.C.
Local news outlets reported Trooper Daniel Harrell’s patrol cruiser had a dozen bullet holes in the windshield, as well as front-end damage.
Sherice Richardson said she was headed to Rocky Mount to pick up her toddler.
"I left the house at about 5:15 and I go on some country roads," Richardson said. "I was going around the curve, passing blue lights and so I slowed down some more, then I got out of the car that's when I seen the bullet holes in the windshield. I didn't know it at the time but when I got to the car, he just had blood coming from his face and I was like 'Oh my God, are you OK?' and all I could hear him say was 'I'm hit, I'm hit.' I was like we need to give him help so I called 911."
Luckily, Richardson is a registered nurse.
"He had gauze in his car so I instructed another bystander to put pressure on his face while I was on the phone with EMS," she said. "He was able to hold it himself actually and I sat there and comforted him."
She said she waited with Harrell until EMS arrived.
"It was weird," she said. "You're sitting here with someone that is supposed to protect you and he's down but you've got to do something. I'm just thankful. I had him in my prayers. I'm just grateful he made it out so fast."
"God put me on that road for a reason at that time," said Richardson.
Harrell was released from the hospital on Wednesday.
Law enforcement agencies said they have three suspects in custody.
Federal authorities on Wednesday arrested a metro Atlanta man who they said was plotting to attack the White House but instead got entangled with the FBI.
Hasher Jallal Taheb, 21, of Cumming, was taken into custody in Gwinnett County while allegedly trying to exchange his vehicle for explosives. He later appeared in court in downtown Atlanta in the case brought by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. Authorities said Taheb was acting alone and they made no accusation that he had ties to any terrorist group. He was arrested after a tip from a resident who said the young man had been radicalized.
Taheb’s alleged attack on the White House was supposed to take place around Thursday and involve various explosives and firearms, though even days before he claimed he had still never fired a gun in his life, according to the criminal complaint. He said he could learn fast, the document said. Authorities also said he planned to travel to the Islamic State territory but acknowledged he didn’t have a passport.
“All potential threats have been neutralized and were under control from the inception of this case,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak, who added that authorities would take no questions on the investigation, which is ongoing.
The criminal complaint accuses Taheb of plotting to destroy a government building, which is punishable by five to 20 years. The document said a community member contacted law enforcement in March 2018 about him.
On Wednesday night, agents were searching the home south of Cumming where Taheb is believed to live with his mother.
It wasn’t immediately clear if Taheb had an attorney. Messages seeking comment from family weren’t immediately returned.
The complaint lays out a detailed months-long investigation.
On Aug. 25, 2018, Taheb allegedly put his vehicle up for sale to fund a trip. An FBI informant reached out to show interest and met with the suspect days later.
Taheb allegedly said he planned to travel to “hijra,” a term said to refer to Islamic State territory.
He also told the informant he wanted to attack the White House and Statue of Liberty in jihadist attacks, authorities said. At the beginning of December, Taheb arranged a meeting with the informant and an undercover FBI agent, the complaint said.
“Taheb explained that jihad was an obligation, that he wanted to do as much damage as possible, and that he expected to be a ‘martyr,’” the complaint said.
A few days later, there was another meeting in Alpharetta, during which Taheb allegedly showed the FBI worker a composition notebook with a hand-drawn map of the ground floor of the West Wing in the White House. Taheb seemed to believe the informant and FBI worker would join his plot if they could find weapons, according to the document.
By mid-December, Taheb had allegedly broadened the scope of places he wanted to attack to include the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial and a synagogue. He said he wanted to use handguns, IEDs, an AT-4 anti-armor weapon and hand grenades.
The conversations continued into this month with Taheb allegedly discussing growing the group, disdain for the U.S. and Israel and various angles of the plot. He also expressed worry that his family would catch on to the plans.
The attack on the White House was supposed to involve driving on a road behind the building, creating a diversion and shooting a hole through the building to gain entry and kill people, the complaint said.
On Wednesday, Taheb went to a Buford store parking lot for the purpose of him and the FBI worker exchanging their vehicles for semi-automatic rifles, explosive devices and an AT-4, the complaint said. A second informant inspected the vehicles and told Taheb the money was in the ashtray of one of them.
A second FBI worker drove up with a tractor-trailer, which had the weapons inside, though the FBI had rendered them useless. Taheb took the weapons in a backpack and was arrested by agents.
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