The government partially shut down at midnight after the House and Senate failed to pass a spending bill. President Trump had insisted he would not sign any spending bill that did not include $5 billion for the border wall.
The partial shutdown won't have much effect on your holiday plans. The post office will stay open, so gift and holiday card stragglers can still put them in the mail. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents would still work, and air travel would continue virtually unaffected.
Government employees who are considered "essential," such as Secret Service agents, Customs and Border Patrol agents and U.S. troops deployed at the border, will still be working. But a shutdown creates a risk for hundreds of thousands of federal workers: More than 420,000 federal employees would have to go to work without pay. More than 380,000 will be furloughed. Those who work will get paid eventually - and those furloughed likely will - but depending how long the shutdown lasts, they could miss a paycheck.
Funding that expired at midnight Saturday covers the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department, the State Department, the Interior Department, the Departure of Agriculture and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, among some other federal entities.
The Office of Management and Budget -- still run by incoming acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney -- has issued guidance to each agency, and each agency would develop its own shutdown plan. Federal agencies must halt all "non-essential" discretionary work and so-called non-essential employees must stay home until new funding legislation is signed into law.
About 1,200 auditors sharpened their pencils and pored over the Pentagon's accounting books and were able to identify discrepancies that will likely take years to resolve, Reuters reported.
The undertaking was massive and an early goal for the Trump administration. These auditors looked into spending on military personnel and weapons systems, the report said.
Patrick Shanahan, the deputy secretary of defense, said "the fact that we did the audit is substantial," and said the agency "never expected to pass."
A Pentagon spokesman clarified that an audit is not a ‘pass-fail’ process and noted that it did not receive the lowest possible rating in any area. Reuters reported that Shanahan did not mention how much money was unaccounted for in the study.
"Some of the compliance issues are irritating to me," he said. "The point of the audit is to drive better discipline in our compliance with our management systems and procedures."
PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP: Thank you very much, Larry. Appreciate it. And I think Larry is going to be very happy with what I'm going to say. I might as well leave the press to say it because it will put more pressure on all of the people gathered around our table.
I'm going to ask each of you to come back with a 5-percent budget cut from your various departments. Whether it's a secretary, an administrator, whatever, I'm going to ask everybody with a 5-percent cut for our next meeting. I think you'll all be able to do it. There may be a special exemption, perhaps. I don't know who that exception would be. If you can do more than five -- some of you will say, "Hey, I can do much more than five."
You know, I've heard about the penny plan for 15 years. One penny every year per dollar -- one penny every year -- after four or five years, the country is in good shape. I'm saying, let's not do the penny plan; let's do the five-penny plan. I think you can do it.
So I'd like to have everyone sitting around the table -- your incredible domains that you preside over so brilliantly, in some cases. In some cases very well; in some cases brilliantly. I would like you to come back with a 5-percent cut. Get rid of the fat. Get rid of the waste. And I'm sure you can do it. I'm sure everybody at this table can do it. It will have a huge impact.
Last budget we had to go -- because of the military -- we had to fix our military. Our military is in the process of being fixed. Planes are being made. Boats are being made. Ships are being made. Missiles, rockets, everything. Our nuclear is being brought to a level that nobody else could even imagine. Pray to God we don't have to use it. But there will be nothing like what we have, and there is nothing like what we have.
And that's why I did that. I made deals with the devil in order to get that done, because we had to improve our military. Our military was depleted. It was in bad shape. Our great people in the military hadn't received a wage increase in more than 10 years. Now they're getting an increase. First time in more than 10 years.
So I wanted to do that and -- in order to get that done -- because the Democrats won't vote for the military. They don't like the military. They don't like law enforcement. They don't like borders.
You see what's happening with the border, where people are coming up in caravans and we have to stop them even though the laws are terrible. The laws are terrible. Our laws are terrible. They're a laughingstock all over the world. And we're supposed to stop people with laws that aren't very good, but we're doing better than anybody else could possibly even think about.
But I'd like you all to come back with a 5-percent cut. And I think if you can do more than that, we will be very happy. There are some people sitting at the table -- I'm not going to point you out -- but there are some people that can really do substantially more than that. Because now that we have our military taken care of, we have our law enforcement taken care of, we can do things that we really weren't in a position to do when I first came.
So we'll see you at the next meeting. I'll see you many times before. I'm sure I'll speak to all of you during this term. But that's a very, very important request that I'm making of everybody sitting around this table. It's tremendous amounts of money, and it's something that we can do.
And I believe we could actually do it, easily. So rather than go by the penny plan, we'll call it the nickel plan. At least it will be a one-year nickel plan. We may do another nickel plan next year too.
Thank you all very much. To the press, thank you very much.
REPORTER: Mr. President, does that include the Defense Department, sir? The 5-percent cut.
TRUMP: We know what the budget -- the new budget is for the Defense Department. It will probably be $700 billion. So it's 716; it was 700 -- 716. And that's a very substantial number but it's defense. It's very important. I mean, to us, without defense, maybe the rest of it doesn't mean very much.
But if you know, it was a $520 [billion] a very short while ago. And the reason I brought it up to 700 and then 716 was to build new ships. We're building new, incredible submarines, the finest in the world. The most powerful in the world, anywhere, ever.
We're doing things that we have never done on this scale. So that included a lot of rebuilding of our military. So despite that, I'm going to keep that at $700 billion -- defense. Okay?
Real Clear Politics
The numbers: The U.S. recorded a $779 billion deficit in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, an increase of $113 billion, as spending climbed while revenue remained nearly flat, the Treasury Department announced Monday.
Outlays grew by $127 billion, or 3.2%, while government receipts rose 0.4%, or $14 billion.
Compared to GDP, the deficit rose to 3.9%, up by 0.4 percentage points to reach the highest level since fiscal 2012.
In September alone, the U.S. recorded a surplus of $119.1 billion. The U.S. typically records a surplus in September owing to estimated individual and corporate income tax payments made during the month, and this one was especially large due to the timing of some payments that otherwise would have been due on a weekend or a holiday.
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