President Trump has agreed to postpone his State of the Union address until the government has officially reopened, however some in his administration appear to believe that could be at a much later date.
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While lawmakers will vote on two separate packages to reopen the government on Thursday, neither is expected to pass in both chambers. And some administration officials are appearing to hunker down for the long-haul.
The administration made sure recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – colloquially referred to as food stamps – would receive benefits through February. However, there are concerns the U.S. Department of Agriculture will not have the funds to continue benefits into March.
The White House has been working to dull the impact of the shutdown in other ways, too. The Internal Revenue Service recalled about 60 percent of its workforce to help process refunds, for example, with tax season scheduled to officially open on Monday.
The shutdown – now the longest in history – has entered its fifth week. Federal employees are expected to forego their second round of paychecks this week. Nearly 800,000 government workers are affected by the shutdown.
White House Council of Economic Advisers Chair Kevin Hassett said the shutdown could potentially wipe out an entire quarter’s worth of economic growth.