US House passes bill to reopen agencies

The Democratic-controlled US House of Representatives has voted to restore funding for some federal agencies that have been shut down by a fight with President Donald Trump over border wall funding, as an estimated 800,000 government workers, from tax collectors to FBI agents, missed their first pay cheque.
But a full resumption of government operations at those agencies did not appear in sight.
The Senate adjourned for the weekend on Friday without taking action, and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has said he will not bring the House bill up for a vote.
Republicans who control the Senate have so far stood with Trump and insisted that any spending bills include money for his wall.
The House bill, which passed 240-179 with only 10 Republicans supporting it, would restore funding for the Interior Department and the Environmental Protection Agency, two of the agencies that have been without funding since December 22 amid the stand-off over the proposed wall along the US-Mexico border.
The $US35.9 billion ($A49.7 billion) bill provides $US6 billion more than Trump requested.
Facing the prospect of the longest US government shutdown in history, Trump has said he might declare a national emergency to bypass congress to get funding for his wall, which was a central promise of his 2016 presidential campaign.
Entering its 21st day, the partial shutdown on Friday tied the record for the longest in US history.
Miami International Airport said it will close one of its terminals early over the next several days because of a possible shortage of security screeners, who have been calling in sick at twice the normal rate.
A union that represents thousands of air traffic controllers sued the Federal Aviation Administration on Friday, saying it had violated federal wage law by failing to pay workers. It is at least the third lawsuit filed by unions on behalf of unpaid workers.
About 800,000 federal workers did not receive pay cheques that would have gone out on Friday. Some have resorted to selling their possessions or posting appeals on online fundraising outlets to help pay their bills.
"Most of them are living from pay cheque to pay cheque and now they approach this day on Friday having moved from pay cheque to no cheque," Democratic Representative Elijah Cummings said in debate on the House floor.
The head of the US Secret Service, which is responsible for protecting Trump, warned employees that financial stress can lead to depression and anxiety.
"Keep an eye out for warning signs of trouble," Director RD "Tex" Alles wrote in a memo seen by Reuters.
Vice President Mike Pence said Trump will sign legislation passed in Congress that will provide back pay to federal workers once the government reopens.
"Your families will get your pay cheques," he told US Customs and Border Protection officers at the agency's Washington headquarters.
Separately, Senator Rob Portman and eight other Republican senators introduced legislation that would permanently outlaw the closing of government operations during budget fights, underscoring the growing frustration in Washington.

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