George Bush Delivers Pizza To Unpaid Secret Service Agents Amid Shutdown

George W. Bush has been an unintentional beneficiary of the Trump administration, his reputation buoyed with the benefit of time and an unpopular president from his own party.

On Friday, he continued to embrace the role of good guy, with a photo of himself delivering pizzas to his Secret Service detail that he posted on Instagram.

"Laura W. Bush and I are grateful to our Secret Service personnel and the thousands of Federal employees who are working hard for our country without a paycheck," he wrote. "And we thank our fellow citizens who are supporting them."

  • and I are grateful to our Secret Service personnel and the thousands of Federal employees who are working hard for our country without a paycheck. And we thank our fellow citizens who are supporting them. It’s time for leaders on both sides to put politics aside, come together, and end this shutdown.
  • The message comes as the shutdown, already the longest in history, nears a 27th day, as Trump's demand for $5 billion of funding for a border wall has met the harsh political realities of a divided government. Some furloughed workers have taken to accepting food handouts amid the weeks without a paycheck.

    But Bush's staff is not going hungry. The president bought them at least six pizzas, according to the Instagram post. He punctuated the post with a call for officials to figure out a way to end the impasse, though he did not give specifics.

    "It's time for leaders on both sides to put politics aside, come together, and end this shutdown," he said.

    Some 6,000 Secret Service employees are among the 800,000 federal workers not receiving paychecks. Spokeswoman Catherine Milhoan said that more than 85 percent of the agency is continuing to report to work every day but declined to comment on any operational details of Bush's protection team.

    "He is buying meals for Secret Service agents on his detail as a small way, however insufficient, to show his gratitude for their hard work without pay during the shutdown," Bush spokesman Freddy Ford said in an email. Ford declined to answer how many pizzas Bush purchased or how many agents there were in his detail.

    Bush did not face a single government shutdown during the eight years he was president.

    The Secret Service emerged as a sticking point in the funding debate between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Donald Trump, when Pelosi noted in a letter that the service was stretched thin in the absence of funding, and recommended that the President postpone the State of the Union for security concerns.

    Bush's favorability ratings have climbed in recent years, from about 33 percent when he left office in 2009 to 61 percent a year ago, according to CNN polls. The gain was powered in large part by significant shifts in opinion from self-identified Democrats.

    "I never thought I would agree with Bush," one commenter on Bush's post remarked.

  • Published in World

US: Union Sues Trump Administration Over Government Shutdown

Federal employees who are working without pay filed a legal action against partial closure of the United States government.

The National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) filed a lawsuit Tuesday against U.S. President Donald Trump's administration for the partial closure of the government, the Washington Post reported.

RELATED: Trump Deploys Fear Tactics in Making Case For Steel Border Wall

In justifying this class action suit, the plaintiffs contend that more than 400,000 federal employees - who are considered "essential" due to their jobs being related to human life safety or property protection -  have been required to work without pay since Dec. 22, 2018.

The NTEU action was filed three days after Trump affirmed he doesn't care that "most of the workers are not getting paid are Democrats."

The U.S. government's partial closure is a way by which President Trump is pressuring the U.S. Congress to approve a budget of US$5.7 billion for the construction of a border wall to thwart the entry of Central American migrants.

The shutdown, however, is punishing the most vulnerable segments of the U.S. population. For example, 38 million citizens who depend on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are affected by the reduction or suspension of the distribution of the program coupons. Also, patients of nursing homes are affected because their health depends on the normal functioning of public services.

It’s not much, but I’ve opened up my two movie theaters in Michigan for free to all federal government employees and their families. Popcorn and pop is free, too. The bigger issue: Trump must end his shutdown now.

Jeffrey David Cox, the national president of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), said that "federal employees are absolutely, totally and without reservation against this closure of the government... We want this closure finish in this same minute."

The AFGE president also criticized the inaction toward workers' rights that the United States leader and other politicians demonstrate by allowing the closure of the government to continue.

"We are opposed to being kidnapped. We are opposed to collateral damage. We oppose the use of extortion, instead of reasoned debate. We oppose politicians who think so little about us," Cox emphasized.

  • Published in World
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