Amid shutdown, Trump invites lawmakers to the White House
With no end of a partial government shutdown in sight, the Trump administration has invited congressional leaders to the White House on Wednesday for a briefing on border security, including plans for the wall, officials said. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats said they already have a plan that includes full-year funding for shuttered departments except for the Department of Homeland Security, which handles immigration and border security. The Democrats called for temporary funding of the DHS through Feb. 8 as Trump and Congress negotiate a long-term plan, though many Democrats oppose any federal funding for the wall. But President Donald Trump rang in the new year by denouncing Democrats’ proposal because it lacks money for a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border.
With the partial government shutdown stretching into 2019, here’s what you need to know about the effects.
Shutdown hits small businesses; Smithsonian museums to close
While Washington remains at a stalemate over government funding, the effect of the shutdown not just on the thousands of federal employees who have been forced to work without pay but also on the businesses and industries that rely on them have begun to show. Much of the nation returned to work after the holidays Wednesday, but some businesses are waiting on government loan approvals. Others, near federal buildings or national parks, are worried about losing their customer base. All Smithsonian museums, which had accommodated visitors since the shutdown began Dec. 22, are set to close Wednesday, too. A federal employee union has sued the Trump administration, claiming it is illegal for agencies to force employees to work without pay.
Markets open for 2019
Full trading of stocks and bonds will resume in 2019 on Wednesday, giving investors a first look at how markets – which were wildly volatile in 2018 – will fare in the new year. Stocks closed out a bruising 2018 with gains on New Year’s Eve but the rally wasn’t enough to help the market avoid its biggest annual loss in 10 years. Ups and downs are expected to persist this year as investors continue to weigh the impact of rising interest rates, slowing economies around the world and await the outcome of the U.S.-China trade skirmish.
Did you buy a Mega Millions ticket in New York? If so, keep reading …
The nation might learn more about the winning Mega Millions ticket Wednesday after one lucky winner — or winners — matched all six numbers. Tuesday’s $425 million jackpot, the eighth largest in Mega Millions history and the fifth drawing on New Year’s Day, resulted in a winning ticket sold in New York, according to the Mega Millions website. Seven other players won at least $1 million after matching all but the Mega Ball. The winning numbers were 34, 44, 57, 62, 70 and Mega Ball 14. Good luck.
Girl Scout cookie season is here
It’s the most wonderful time of the year: Girl Scout cookie season. Cookie sales begin Wednesday, and there’s a new cookie this year: caramel chocolate chip. The new chewy treat is made with semi-sweet chocolate chips, caramel and a hint of sea salt, according to the Girl Scouts. Bonus: It’s gluten-free. To get your annual fix of cookies, download the Girl Scout Cookie Finder app or go to www.girlscoutcookies.org to buy.
Girl Scouts of the USA just announced it’s new Caramel Chocolate Chip cookie that will be joining the 2019 line-up…Buzz 60’s Chandra Lanier has the story.
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