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As the partial government shutdown enters its 26th day, President Trump has ordered thousands of furloughed government workers to return to work - knowing that they will not be paid until after the shutdown ends - to restart government functions like inspecting planes, auctioning off offshore drilling rights, monitoring food safety and issuing tax refunds.
A Trump Administration contingency plan released Tuesday calls for 46,000 worker to return to work, joining the ranks of 420,000 "essential" federal workers who have been working through the shutdown (though they have been forgoing their paychecks at least until the funding is approved).
Bloomberg - Critics - Administration - Employees - Constitutes
But according to Bloomberg, critics of the administration are arguing that ordering some employees to return to work constitutes a violation of the 1870 Antideficiency Act, which prohibits federal agencies from spending money that hasn't been explicitly appropriated by Congress unless it's literally a matter of life and death.
But in skirting the boundaries of the law, Trump enjoys one key advantage: Nobody has ever been sued for violating the act, and ultimately the authority to challenge the administration would like with the Department of Justice, which is - you guessed it - currently shut down.
Critics - Trump - Administration - Law - Functions
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 law bars 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.”
“This administration is being creative in its ability to break the law and test the boundaries,” said Sam Berger, a senior adviser at the Center for American Progress who worked at the Office of Management and Budget under former President Barack Obama.
“They are really walking up to and...
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