government shutdown

AUGUSTA, Maine - A Maine legislative committee is recommending that the Legislature pass an emergency bill that would provide financial relief for federal workers in the state impacted by future government shutdowns.

The federal government is back open for three weeks, as Congress and the president work on a budget deal. But the union that represents Department of Veterans' Affairs employees, Coast Guard workers, TSA officers, and other government workers in Maine, says the crisis is not over for its members -- many of whom worked without pay during the shutdown. 

J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo

Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins says the deal to temporarily end the longest government shutdown in U.S. history should prod congressional leaders and President Trump to negotiate in good faith over border security.

Updated at 9:45 p.m. ET

The longest government shutdown in history ended after President Trump signed a bipartisan three-week stopgap funding measure late Friday. Several agencies had been partially shuttered for 35 days.

"I am very proud to announce today that we have reached a deal to end the shutdown and reopen the federal government," Trump said earlier Friday in the White House Rose Garden, announcing the long-awaited bipartisan breakthrough.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

Tens of thousands of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers across the United States, including in Maine, are working without pay. With no end to the partial government shutdown in sight, some travelers passing through the Portland International Jetport are now stepping up to help TSA employees.

Roughly 100 furloughed federal workers have qualified for unemployment insurance in Maine, but many more who are still working without pay cannot qualify.

Grace Pond Farm

As the partial government shutdown stretches into its fifth week, some Mainers say what typically feels like distant Washington D.C. politics is now affecting their daily lives.

As the federal shutdown continues, some higher-income federal employees are seeking help from aid programs, such as the federal heating and energy assistance program known as HEAP.  But they're finding that even though they've already missed one paycheck and will miss another this Friday, their incomes are still too high to qualify.

Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

While U.S. Sen. Susan Collins said that President Trump's plan to get border wall funding in exchange for temporary protections for some immigrants is not ideal, it would result in the reopening of government, which she said is her priority.

Nora Flaherty / Maine Public

Members of Maine labor and community organizations met Wednesday in Portland to deliver a letter to Republican Sen. Susan Collins calling for an end to the federal government shutdown that is forcing many government employees to go without pay.

The weather clearly does not care that the U.S. government is partially shut down.

Andrew Harnik / AP Photo

The Maine Republican Party is pressuring U.S. Sen. Susan Collins to approve President Donald Trump’s wall along the southern border, a request that’s at odds with the Republican Senator’s expressed desire to end the partial federal government shutdown first.

The natural gas company that serves the Kennebec Valley, Cumberland, Falmouth and Yarmouth, has announced that it plans to waive late fees and interest for customers who are federal employees affected by the shutdown.

Michael C. York / Maine Public

As the partial government shutdown continues, its effects on states are becoming more and more apparent, and are likely to become broader if it goes on for any length of time.

Pat Wellenbach / Associated Press File

State transportation officials say that as the budget impasse continues in Washington, there is growing uncertainty around hundreds of millions of dollars in contracted projects that provide thousands of jobs in Maine.

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