Government Shutdown | St. Louis Public Radio

Government Shutdown

Locked out of the the Old Courthouse in St. Louis, leaders and citizens took part in an improvised King Day ceremony outside on Jan. 21, 2019.
Holly Edgell | St. Louis Public Radio

The partial government shutdown blocked the 2019 Martin Luther King Jr. Day ceremony from the Old Courthouse in St. Louis. Nevertheless, about 50 people joined civic leaders and elected officials on and around the steps for short speeches and prayers.

Mayor Lyda Krewson and Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed were among those who attended the improvised festivities in 15-degree temperatures before moving off to Leonard Missionary Baptist Church on North Compton for an interfaith service. Organizers remarked that driving to the church would not be frowned upon considering the weather, although it appeared most people opted to walk.

St. Louis resident Andy Magee takes a selfie while visiting San Juan National Historic Site in Puerto Rico.
Andy Magee

Barricades and “park closed” signs weren’t quite the sort of sights Andy Magee anticipated photographing when he embarked a couple weeks ago on a 365-day tour of the National Park Service’s 418 units around the U.S. But so far, his “418 Parks” Facebook page is full of such photos – evidence of the ongoing partial shutdown of the federal government.

Magee, who is a local artist and a co-owner of Cioci’s Picture Mart in Kirkwood, has continued on his journey anyway and is currently in the Carolinas. He joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh on Wednesday for a conversation about what he’s been observing.

Missourians who are eligible for Food Stamp benefits will receive their February Food Stamp benefit early.  The United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), which administers the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Food Stamp program, informed states that payments for the February Food Stamp or SNAP benefit must be issued on January 20 due to the partial federal government shutdown.

Even breweries are feeling the pinch of the partial federal government shutdown.  

“The regulating body that we have to submit all of our labels to, to get approved by is shut down,” says James Stutsman, founder of City Barrel Brewing.

Stutsman shared his story on KCUR's Central Standard Wednesday.

David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Federal employees throughout metro St. Louis are feeling the brunt of the partial government shutdown two weeks in, as agencies and departments have placed workers on furlough or have required them to work without pay.

In metro St. Louis, the shutdown includes the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the National Park Service (NPS).

Updated at 9:45 p.m. ET

The federal government is in the midst of a partial shutdown, and it appears it will be that way for some time.

President Trump and members of Congress publicly say they want to reopen the federal government, but, in the first day of a shutdown, Republicans and Democrats on both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue showed no signs of ending their stalemate.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Within Missouri’s congressional delegation, few members are closer than U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin, and U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.

Wagner, who chaired Blunt’s Senate campaign in 2010, often confers with him since she joined Congress earlier this year, said her spokesman, Patrick Howell.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The deadlock in Washington, D.C., is the product of numerous factors. There is the irredentist Tea Party faction, Republican leaders fearful for their positions, and a president who has not emerged as a strong leader. One factor not considered at all by the press or the talk show pundits is the role of institutions in promoting gridlock and prohibiting bold action.

Rep. Lacy Clay
St. Louis Public Radio

Amidst the dual crises of the partial government shutdown and the swiftly approaching debt limit, Congressman Lacy Clay (D - St. Louis) is addressing the inaction and hearing from constituents.

Before traveling back to D.C. for an evening meeting of the House, Clay stopped by St. Louis Public Radio to discuss the latest on Capitol Hill with St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh.

Here's what he had to say on the partial government shutdown, the debt ceiling and more.

On the inaction of Congress:

(Via Flickr/Mandalit)

Hundreds of thousands of government employees went on furlough today, as the federal government began a partial shutdown. Thousands of those employees live and work in the St. Louis region. Meanwhile the debt ceiling deadline looms.

What kind of economic impact will the shutdown and debt ceiling have on the St. Louis region?

St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh spoke with economist Howard Wall, Colonel Kyle Kremer, Commander of the 375th Air Mobility Wing at Scott Air Force Base, and St. Louis Beacon reporter Jason Rosenbaum to find out.

(Wikimedia Commons/Online Congressional Guide)

Missouri Congressman Russ Carnahan says the stalemate in Washington over the budget has more to do with ideology than numbers.

A government shutdown will begin at midnight if Congress is not able to reach an agreement on the remainder this year's budget.

Carnahan says Republicans are targeting Planned Parenthood, the EPA, and public broadcasting as part of their proposed cuts.

"Certainly people are entitled to their own opinions about that,” Carnahan said. “But this is not the way to do it."

(UPI/St. Louis Public Radio)

Congressional budget talks appear headed in a positive direction today, but conservative spending cuts remain obstacles as Congress seeks to avert a government shutdown this weekend.

Missouri Republican Senator Roy Blunt continued to heap blame on Democrats for not passing a budget last year.

"They could have resolved them any way they wanted to last year,” Blunt said. “So their negotiating position is dramatically impacted by their unwillingness to deal with these issues when they were totally in control of everything."

The Arch from below
St. Louis Public Radio

With the possibility of a federal government shutdown looming comes a less-obvious consequence.

The St. Louis Business Journal reports that if the shutdown occurs, a signature landmark of St. Louis, the Gateway Arch, would also close.

(Rachel Lippmann, St. Louis Public Radio)

The U.S. Senate has approved legislation that cuts $4 billion in spending, forestalling a government shut-down for the next two weeks.

Missouri Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill joined all but one of her colleagues in approving the measure.

McCaskill says she hopes Senators use the next two weeks to negotiate cuts that don't simply target discretionary spending, which is only 12-to-15 percent of the budget.

(Bill Greenblatt/UPI)

The U.S. Senate announced today that it will accept a bill from the House to fund government for an additional two weeks, averting a government shutdown on Friday.

The House had proposed a budget which cut $60 billion in federal spending, which Senate Democrats complained was too much.

Siding with his former House colleagues, Missouri Senator Roy Blunt said he sees little room for compromise when it comes to reducing the deficit.