weather icon Drizzle

Trump says federal workers will support him even if shutdown drags on

Updated January 4, 2019 - 6:57 pm

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump acknowledged Friday that the partial government shutdown could last for months, even a year or longer, but he said he believes many furloughed workers will support him even if the shutdown is prolonged.

During an hourlong press conference in the Rose Garden, Trump was asked if he expects federal workers to remain with the government after forgoing paychecks for a long stretch.

“If we have to stay out for a very long period of time, we’re going to do that,” Trump said. “And many of those people, maybe even most of those people that really have not been and will not be getting their money in at this moment, those people in many cases are the biggest fans of what we are doing.”

Paul Shearon, president of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, which represents highly skilled professionals who work for the federal government, including 400 immigration judges, called Trump’s statement “totally incoherent.”

Shearon said he has heard from “a grand total of one” member who supports Trump’s drive to shut down the government to win funding for border security.

However, at a White House event Thursday, National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd said, “There’s also a lot of talk on this shutdown that federal employees do not agree with the shutdown. I will tell you that’s not true.”

Some 450,000 furloughed federal workers are considered essential and are working without pay. Another 380,000 have been furloughed without pay.

In the past, Congress has passed legislation to reimburse furloughed workers for their back pay when a shutdown is over. The Senate passed a bill to do just that, and Trump supported back pay for furloughed workers in the last shutdown.

In December, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management tweeted out advice to federal workers who had been furloughed. It advised workers to inform their landlords and creditors, try to work out reduced payments and even offer to barter services like painting and carpentry work in exchange for reduced rent.

Trump said he believes landlords and vendors should go “nice and easy” on federal workers who have to forego their paychecks. He also said that he directed his staff and individuals designated by Congress “to work throughout the weekend” to negotiate a deal.

Before the Rose Garden event, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer spoke to reporters outside the West Wing.

“We will continue our conversations, but we recognize on the Democratic side that we really cannot resolve this until we open up government,” Pelosi said.

“The narrative for 2019 is going to be ‘He said, she said,’” said Bill Whalen, senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He expects more theater after future meetings between the president and speaker.

Republican strategist Alice Stewart questioned the level of support for Trump’s position.

“If there truly is that much support by citizens, then that would be indicated with bipartisan support for wall funding,” Stewart said.

A recent NPR/PBS/Marist poll found that 56 percent of Americans want Trump to compromise on border security to end the shutdown, while 37 percent believe he should not compromise.

Stewart sees more pressure ahead when most furloughed federal workers receive their final paycheck next Friday. On that day, she predicted, “There’s going to more public outcry to elected officials, and elected officials are going to speak out against the shutdown.”

Contact Debra J. Saunders at dsaunders@reviewjournalcom or 202-662-7391. Follow @DebraJSaunders on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Former Nevada Senate leader Kelvin Atkinson sentenced to prison
Former Nevada Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson, who pleaded guilty to misusing campaign funds, was sentenced to 27 months in prison on Thursday, July 18, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trumps Strength is also a Weakness - Video
One of Donald Trump’s greatest strengths — his ability to shape national narratives — is also a great weakness.
Tax the Rich Bus Tour makes a stop in Las Vegas - Video
The Tax the Rich Bus has stopped in Las Vegas as part of its summer tour. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ - Video
Assembly Woman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ to bring the community together to hear about the candidates up for election and for people to gather and have fun.
Democrat Virtual Caucus - Video
Elizabeth Warren visits Las Vegas
Senator Elizabeth Warren made a campaign stop at the East Las Vegas Community Center on Tuesday July 2, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Aaron Ford Speaks About Bill AB431
AB431 is a bill sponsored by Nevada Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson to restore the right to vote for formerly incarcerated individuals. Attorney General Aaron Ford spoke at the AM&E Church in North Las Vegas about the bill, on Monday, July 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Right Take: Biden's Racially Questionable Comments
Joe Biden has uttered racially charged statements for years. Now that he’s the frontrunner for the Democrat presidential nomination, he may finally face prolonged scrutiny for them.
Christopher Rufo Discusses Homelessness In The USA - VIDEO
Christopher Rufo discusses homelessness in the United States and how politicians can work to improve conditions for those with drug addictions.
Clark County 2019 Election Results - Video
The 2019 Elections wrap up in Clark County including an upset in the Boulder City Mayor race.
Olivia Diaz talks about her win in Ward 3 - VIDEO
Las Vegas City Councilwoman-elect Olivia Diaz talks about her election win in Ward 3 and what lies ahead for her.
Greene discusses Read by 3 and Opportunity Scholarships - VIDEO
The Nevada Legislative Session is over and the results are mixed for Nevada students, according to Tom Greene, Senior regional legislative director, Excel in Ed in Action.
Bernie Sanders visits Las Vegas
Sen. Bernie Sanders made a stop at Roy W. Martin middle school on Thursday, during his campaign trail.
Kamala Harris campaigns in Las Vegas
Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris castigated President Donald Trump’s merit-based immigration plan, saying it was “short-sighted” and overlooked the cultural significance of family, during a campaign stop in Las Vegas. “We cannot allow people to start parsing and pointing fingers and creating hierarchies among immigrants,” Harris told Asian Pacific Islander leaders at a Chinatown restaurant, one of two appearances she made Thursday.
The Right Take New Education Funding Plan - VIDEO
On Monday, Senate Education Committee chair Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, released a new education funding formula. For years, many Democrat politicians have criticized the current education funding formula, called the Nevada Plan. They claim it’s old and outdated. Their biggest beef is that it doesn’t allocate more money for students who are English Language Learners or live in poverty. The theory is that it’s harder to educate those students and so they need additional services, which costs additional money.
Kamala Harris campaigns in Nevada
California Senator Kamala Harris meets with One APIA Nevada, a nonprofit organization that advocates for policies empowering Asian Pacific Islander Nevadans. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ben Carson talks housing (Audio only)
Ben Carson discusses housing with the Review-Journal editorial board on Thursday. (Audio only)
Ben Carson visits the RJ (Full Audio Only)
Ben Carson discusses housing with the Review-Journal editorial board on Thursday. (Audio only)
Former Vice President Joe Biden campaigns in Nevada
After campaigning at the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 16 in Henderson, former Vice President Joe Biden spoke with the Review-Journal.
Student serenades Mayor Carolyn Goodman at swearing in
Students from the school she founded, The Meadows School, serenaded Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman during a swearing in ceremony for her third and final term. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Al Gore Speaks At UNLV About Climate Change - Video
Former Vice President of the United States Al Gore talks to an audience at UNLV about the effects of Climate change and how to switch to renewable sources of energy.
Forum on Wages and Working People Highlights - VIDEO
Presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren, Beto O'Rourke, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Julian Castro, and John Hickenlooper speak in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Big technology companies subject of federal antitrust probe

President Donald Trump frequently asserts that companies such as Facebook and Google are biased against him and conservative politicians.

Senators unveil compromise to cut drug costs for seniors

Two senior senators unveiled compromise legislation Tuesday to reduce prescription drug costs for millions of Medicare recipients, while saving money for federal and state health care programs.