“Shutdown Pinches Economic Growth.” Last night’s Wall Street Journal article led with:
A Vermont mead brewery has delayed a major expansion because the owners can’t get a business loan. A craft-burger joint in Utah has sent employees home because sales are down. And a Maryland Lyft driver has seen his weekly income fall by nearly half.
The partial federal government shutdown that became the longest on record Sunday is curtailing infrastructure projects, food-processing inspections and economic data used by Wall Street. But on a more micro level, it is showing signs of disrupting commerce as hundreds of thousands of federal workers missed out on their first payday of the closure late last week.
While the economic gashes aren’t enough to derail the recovery, now in its 10th year, they appear to be at least temporarily diminishing the vigor of an expansion that was already projected to slow in 2019. Output is now expected to grow at a 2.2% pace in the first quarter, less than an estimated 3.1% growth recorded in 2018, economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal projected earlier this month. Those first-quarter estimates—down slightly from prior ones before the shutdown—will likely slip further as the shutdown continues. It enters its 24th day Monday.
There were no talks over the weekend, and none have been set yet for this week.
President Trump’s schedule (EST):
9:00 AM: Departs the White House;
11:55 AM: Arrives in Kenner, LA;
12:40 PM: Speaks to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 100th Annual Convention in New Orleans, LA, live on C-SPAN2;
1:55 PM: Departs Kenner, LA;
4:25 PM: Arrives back at the White House; and
6:30 PM: Welcomes the 2018 College Football Playoff National Champion Clemson Tigers to the White House.
Federal government offices in D.C. are closed today because of snow. Congress is still expected to meet, and furloughed federal workers were staying home anyway.
The House will convene a 2 PM today with votes postponed until 6:30 PM on five bills from the Suspension Calendar, including the TANF Extension Act, H.R.430, and four bills from the Small Business Committee. The Senate will convene at 3 PM, and, at 5:30 PM, will vote again on whether to invoke cloture on the Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act, S.1, which Democrats are holding up until President Trump agrees to reopen the government.
William Barr nomination to be Attorney General hearings 9:30 AM Tuesday and Wednesday, Senate Judiciary Committee.
Fighting Elder Fraud hearing 9:30 AM Wednesday, Senate Aging Committee.
Andrew Wheeler to be EPA Administrator hearing 10 AM Wednesday, Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
Advanced Nuclear Reactors hearing 2:30 PM Wednesday, Appropriations Energy and Water Development Subcommittee.
“CBO to Delay Release of Sequestration Report.” Friday, the Congressional Budget Office reported: