The Agriculture Department said Wednesday it's recalling about 2,500 furloughed employees to reopen some Farm Service Agency offices temporarily to help farmers and ranchers with loans and tax filings.
Taxes & Budget
Coverage of the national budget and your taxes.
By David Sherfinski - The Washington Times
They criticized President Trump's tax cut bill as a giveaway to the rich, but now congressional Democrats are eyeing their own $620 billion tax break that would go heavily to wealthier Americans. Published December 2, 2018
A Treasury employee union says the "mass call back" of tens of thousands of workers for the tax-filing season is exactly why it's suing to prevent the administration from forcing members to work "in exchange for only an IOU."
Delta Air Lines can't get eight new aircraft in the air. Roughly a million government employees and contractors aren't being paid. Some Americans who are trying to start small businesses face delays in obtaining the required tax identification number from the IRS.
A brewer in the District of Columbia says kegs of Precious One, its seasonal India pale ale, are unable to be distributed beyond the city because the federal agency in charge of approving labels is on furlough.
A judge on Tuesday refused to order the Trump administration to pay federal employees kept on the job during the partial shutdown, as the IRS said it was bringing back tens of thousands of employees to process tax returns.
As the partial government shutdown reached Day 25, President Trump questioned Tuesday whether House Speaker Nancy Pelosi should be collecting a paycheck.
Even if the wall debate is resolved, it's not necessarily the end of the shutdown that has gone well into its fourth week.
Canadian air traffic controllers have bought hundreds of pizzas for their American counterparts over the past few days in what has become an industry-wide show of support during the U.S. government's partial shutdown.
Sen. Ted Cruz said Sunday that Democrats' refusal to negotiate with President Trump over his funding for the border wall is not reasonable.
Air traffic controllers Friday joined the ranks of federal employees suing over the government shutdown, after workers keeping vigil over their bank accounts didn't receive a cent on payday.
A judge has ordered five federal employees suing President Trump and agency leaders over the partial government shutdown to use their real names, instead of pseudonyms, as the case proceeds.
Rachael Weatherly is a senior adviser for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but she's considering trying to get a job at a grocery store.
Democrats eyeing bids for the White House also are competing to see who is willing to go the highest in raising taxes.
The largest federal employee union on Thursday accused the government of violating labor law by failing to process paychecks for 420,000 "essential" workers who are toiling amid the partial government shutdown.
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, a freshman Democrat, and two Republicans filed a bill Thursday that would repeal Obamacare's tax on health insurers, saying the levy increases premiums and should be scrapped permanently.
The House on Wednesday passed a $24 billion spending bill that funds the IRS and other agencies affected by the partial government shutdown through Sept. 30, as Democrats look to flex their new majority to put pressure on congressional Republicans amid the ongoing standoff.
President Trump walked out of shutdown negotiations with Democratic leaders Wednesday after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi refused to agree to any money for his border fence, ending the most contentious meeting yet in the 19-day-old government shutdown with no solution in sight.
Congressional Democrats on Wednesday said President Trump's Oval Office address Tuesday evening did little to move the ball forward on ending a partial shutdown of the federal government and that Mr. Trump needs to back off his demands for a U.S.-Mexico border wall.
Two senior House Democrats announced legislation Wednesday to force a sitting president to release his tax returns to the public, in a move aimed squarely at President Trump.
Voters hold President Trump responsible for the ongoing partial government shutdown, according to two new polls released this week.
President George W. Bush flexed the National Emergencies Act in the days after the 2001 terrorist attacks, President Jimmy Carter used it during the Iranian hostage crisis, and President Barack Obama tapped it to handle the swine flu pandemic in 2009. Now it's President Trump who is eyeing the 1976 law.
Health care proposals in California, New York City reopen the thorny debate over providing taxpayer-funded benefits to people living in the U.S. illegally, an idea that flies in the face of President Trump's fight against illegal immigration and places that offer them sanctuary.
House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth asked congressional scorekeepers Tuesday to outline for Democrats the logistical and financial trade-offs they must consider as they craft bills to provide "Medicare for all."
President Trump blamed the Federal Reserve Tuesday for higher rates that he says impedes the economy's growth.
The partial government shutdown is starting to affect air travel.
Vice President Mike Pence blasted congressional Democratic leaders Monday for refusing to negotiate with the administration on a border-security solution that would end the partial government shutdown.
The White House and key lawmakers said Sunday that they don't foresee a quick end to a partial government shutdown that has now entered its third week, with both sides unwilling to budge in a standoff over money for President Trump's desired U.S.-Mexico border wall.
House Democrats say they will study the promise or pitfalls of a government-run health system out of the gate, setting the stage for hearings on the marquee idea championed by Sen. Bernard Sanders and outspoken freshmen as the left flexes its new clout.
Dejected tourists stood in the rain late last week outside the shuttered federal offices of the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve.
Under President Trump, U.S. manufacturers posted their best year in two decades, the government reported Friday.
President Trump and trade groups pointed to the government's strong jobs report Friday as proof that the U.S. economy is still surging at a robust pace.
U.S. employers dramatically stepped up their hiring in December, adding 312,000 jobs in an encouraging display of strength for an economy in the midst of a trade war, slowing global growth and a partial shutdown of the federal government.
Using their new majority, House Democrats passed legislation Thursday to reopen the shuttered parts of the government -- but Senate Republicans said the moves are a non-starter, and the White House issued a veto threat as well, signaling the partial shutdown will go on.
President Trump has invited top members of Congress to attend a briefing Wednesday with border officials to school them on the need for a border fence, as he searches for a way out of the shutdown impasse.
Two sisters faced with repaying the federal government $100,000 after their "dead" father turned up alive -- 47 years later -- received some good news in the waning hours of 2018.
Judge Rudolph Contreras says the issues at stake in an immigration detention case before him are too important to let something like a partial government shutdown ruin his schedule.
President Trump, like his predecessors, has done virtually nothing to stop America's runaway debt train.
Democrats and the White House must drop the "blame game" and restart talks to reopen the government fully, weary lawmakers said Sunday as Capitol Hill lurched toward the new year without any sign that they will break the impasse over President Trump's border wall.
The IRS overpaid nearly $4 billion to Obamacare customers through tax credits last year, and because of the way the law is written it can't even try to collect on a quarter of that, the Treasury Department's inspector general reported this week.
The House and Senate returned to Washington Thursday but quickly gaveled out of session for the rest of the week, ensuring the partial government shutdown will extend into next week -- and likely into the new year.
Lawmakers return Thursday to Washington, but there's no deal in sight to end a partial government shutdown, with neither President Trump nor Senate Democrats backing down from the standoff over border security spending.
Wall Street notched its best day in 10 years as stocks rallied back Wednesday, giving some post-Christmas hope to a market that has otherwise been battered this December.
Overseeing the first major government shutdown on his watch, President Trump said Tuesday that he has no sense for when the departments that were shuttered will reopen -- and said Democrats' treatment of him has been "a disgrace."
President Donald Trump says he has confidence in Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin, calling him a "very talented guy" and a "very smart person."
Japanese stocks plunged Tuesday and other Asian markets declined following heavy Wall Street losses triggered by President Donald Trump's criticism of the U.S. central bank.
As the D.C. Council prepares for oversight hearings next year, one key issue will be the D.C. Fire and EMS Department's fleet of emergency vehicles, which The Washington Times has reported is depleted and in need of repair.
At a time when Democrats are demanding higher pay for low-wage workers, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer appeared to wrong-foot himself when his office advertised a job opening for an unpaid internship.
President Trump blasted the Federal Reserve Monday, saying it was the biggest problem with the economy after it raised interest rates last week.
Wall Street's stockings appeared to have coal toes for 2018, as stock markets dropped sharply by 650 points Monday after last week's crushing falls wiped out much of the year's gains.
The U.S. economy is running so hot that businesses cannot find people to fill their want ads. The 7.1 million openings recorded at the end of October easily topped the 6 million people the Labor Department said were unemployed and actively seeking jobs at that point.
A government shutdown would not stall special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, a Justice Department spokesman said Friday.
President Trump and Senate Democrat leader Charles E. Schumer on Friday began the finger-pointing about who will get the blame for a government shutdown at midnight.
President Trump is set to meet Friday with Senate Republicans ahead of a vote that could partially shut down the government over border security funding, the White House said.
President Trump on Friday urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to pass the new spending bill by any means necessary -- including using the "nuclear option" to undercut Democrats' power to use the filibuster.
The House on Thursday passed a stopgap funding bill that would keep the federal government running into early February and give President Trump the additional money he's seeking for security along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Rep. Mark Meadows ripped the stopgap spending bill that heads to the House Thursday and urged President Trump to keep fighting for the border wall.
President Trump moved Thursday to require more food stamp recipients to find jobs, saying government aid should not become "a way of life."
Republicans backed down in their border security fight Wednesday and settled instead for a stopgap spending bill that would keep the government running through early February, avoiding a government shutdown and leaving the big fights for the new Congress.
Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown helped make his party even more powerful in California during the last eight years and now, less than a month before leaving office, he predicts that dominance will make it difficult for his successor to control Democrats' hunger for spending and regulations.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday announced plans to roll out a stopgap funding bill that would keep the government running through Feb. 8 and avert a pre-Christmas shutdown.
Recent Opinion Columns
Most of the gifts exchanged at this time of year are opened on Christmas Day. But this time around, a big one arrived a few days early: the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
Americans are the most generous people in the world.
Every day there are legions of new economists who dismiss the Donald Trump economic agenda and his forecast of 3 percent growth as a wild-eyed fantasy. The consensus is that the economy "can't possibly grow at 3 percent" says The Wall Street Journal. "Slow growth is the new norm, so get used to it," writes Rucir Sharma, Morgan Stanley, chief global strategist at Morgan Stanley in Foreign Affairs magazine this month.
This past weekend marked President Trump's 100th day in office. While tax cuts and health care reform have been discussed, neither has moved forward. With a potential fight over the debt limit looming, there is surely a lot that could be said about what Mr. Trump has and has not accomplished over the last few months. But there is at least one bright spot: reducing burdensome federal regulations.
If you pay people not to work, what do you think they will do?
From The Vault
The U.S. economy grew at a robust annual rate of 4.2 percent in the second quarter, the best performance in nearly four years, but economists believe growth has slowed in the current quarter, in part because of a drag from trade.
The Trump administration ripped up federal regulations at a record pace this year and saved taxpayers $1.3 billion, double the goal set by the president, according to an American Action Forum analysis.
House Republicans announced legislation Monday to permanently lock in last year's tax cuts, looking to remind voters of the surging economy -- and the Republicans' role in getting it there -- in the weeks before the November elections.
The New York-based nonprofit Conference Board reports that its monthly Employment Trends Index is on the upswing.
The federal government took in a record tax haul in April en route to its biggest-ever monthly budget surplus, the Congressional Budget Office said, as a surging economy left Americans with more money in their paychecks -- and this more to pay to Uncle Sam.
U.S. employers added a modest 103,000 jobs in March after several months of robust gains, though the government's overall jobs report suggests that the labor market remains fundamentally healthy.
The IRS is auditing fewer tax returns than at any other time in the past 15 years as the agency struggles with what it says it a shrinking budget and pressure from Congress to be less zealous in enforcement.
The U.S. economy grew at a solid rate of 2.6 percent in the final three months of last year, helped by the fastest consumer spending since the spring of 2016 and a big rebound in home construction.
Disney has joined a growing list of companies that have offered employees cash bonuses after the passage of tax reform legislation in Congress.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has belittled the burgeoning number of tax cut bonuses handed out by employers to millions of employees as "crumbs," but to workers receiving them, it's welcome cash in their pockets.
Walmart on Thursday announced that it will increase the starting wage rate for hourly employees to $11 and provide additional benefits to other workers in the wake of the $1.5 trillion tax-cut package Congress passed last month.
The unsung hero of the Republican Christmas gift of a tax cut is Arthur Laffer — the Reagan economist who helped devise the Gipper's tax reductions. Those tax cuts rebuilt the U.S. economy in the 1980s and pulled us out of the mini-depression of high inflation and unemployment in the late 1970s.
Republican negotiators on Wednesday said they've managed to strike a deal on a $1.4 trillion tax-cut package and that they'll be prepared to send it to President Trump's desk next week.
The Treasury Department said Monday that the Senate-approved tax reform plan would pay for itself and more, actually boosting revenue by $300 billion over 10 years.
U.S. employers added a robust 228,000 jobs in November, a sign of the job market's enduring strength in its ninth year of economic recovery.