Judge Blocks Trump From Abusing Federal Employees During Shutdown

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There may finally be an effect of the government shutdown that makes Trump and his GOP cronies prick up their ears and take note. The same party who will firmly deny actual data and statistics about climate change to protect their corporate oil donors is presiding over a shutdown that will affect those donors, as well.

While nearly a million workers are currently living without paychecks thanks to Trump’s childish five billion dollar demand for a border wall, he also wanted to ensure that big oil didn’t lose any money in the process. To do this, he demanded that federal workers continue to “inspect planes, issue tax refunds, monitor food safety and facilitate the sale of offshore oil drilling rights.” While those first three orders are about protecting Americans’ safety while flying, keeping food safe, and ensuring that his voters can still receive their federal income tax refunds, the offshore drilling only benefits one group of people.

The Washington Post reports:

‘U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel issued an order Friday halting federal entities “from taking action to promulgate permits, otherwise approve, or take any other official action” for permits to conduct testing that’s needed before drilling work can begin.’

In the midst of the longest shutdown in history, Trump needed to mollify the GOP’s big corporate donors to keep their support. Those efforts are beginning to become quite obvious.

As Bloomberg states:

‘Critics say the Trump administration is skirting federal law by continuing some functions amid the political stalemate between congressional Democrats and Trump over whether to fund a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. A 149-year-old lawbars agencies from spending money Congress hasn’t given to them, with only limited exceptions for “emergencies involving the safety of human life or the protection of property.”’

Forcing those federal employees to work without pay and keeping federal workers in limbo and facing economic destitution isn’t the only harm the Trump administration is causing. Their utter dismissal of environmental issues has long-term effects that everyone, regardless of employment status or party, will feel in the future.

‘Gergel is overseeing a federal lawsuit opposing the Trump administration’s plans to conduct offshore drilling tests. Earlier this month, South Carolina joined the action filed by environmental groups and municipalities along the state’s coast.’

Featured image via Flickr by Gage Skidmore under a Creative Commons license