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Border Security

Shutdown Won’t Impact Tax Returns, Says White House Official

Office of Management and Budget acting director Russell Vought told reporters that refunds will still go out

Americans will still get a tax refund this spring despite concerns that the ongoing partial government shutdown could disrupt that, an official told reporters on Monday.

White House Office of Management and Budget acting director Russell Vought (shown above left) said the shutdown won’t impact tax returns, despite reports to the contrary.

“Tax refunds will go out,” Vought told members of the media during a briefing, as numerous outlets reported, including Bloomberg.

The partial government shutdown began over a dispute about border wall funding on December 22.

Both sides have continued discussions to resolve the impasse but with little luck so far.

Related: Government Funding Fight Reaches Fever Pitch

The White House will issue guidance that will make the tax move official by detailing how the government will go about issuing the refunds.

The Internal Revenue Service will essentially be set up to issue refunds to taxpayers even if the government shutdown extends into the filing season.

Traditionally, during other shutdowns, the agency would wait until the government was funded.

The refund news is a promising development for taxpayers who could have been left without those funds until the government re-opened. Many news outlets reported on how the shutdown could delay consumer refunds and other federal services. But the move also means there is less pressure for politicians to solve the issue.

Trump has long promised to build a security wall along the southern border between the U.S. and Mexico and is fighting to get $5.6 billion to do just that. He has threatened to veto spending bills that don’t include the funds as well.

Democratic leaders have been equally steadfast in their opposition to provide any funding. The stalemate led both sides to the government shutdown.

Trump and congressional leaders from both parties have continued discussions in an effort to overcome the stalemate. They held two meetings over the past week and launched a task force over the weekend to resolve the issue as well. But despite these regular meetings and efforts, the two sides have been unable to overcome the impasse thus far.

Trump has repeatedly reaffirmed his commitment to funding the border wall since the shutdown began. He held a press conference with Border Patrol officials recently and stressed the importance of border wall funding during a Cabinet discussion hours before he met with congressional leaders on January 2.

Related: House Dems Unveil Plan to End Gov’t Shutdown Without Border Wall Funding

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he wouldn’t bring up any bills the president wouldn’t sign. He had made earlier attempts to avert the government shutdown, such as a short-term spending bill to fund the government through February 8.

The Senate has also passed the remaining appropriations bills or advanced them through committee.

House Democrats have made a few attempts of their own to end the shutdown. They passed two bills intended to fund most of the government while leaving room to debate border security; their bills did not include money for the wall.

They later announced a plan to pass four separate appropriations bills. But without border wall funding, they are unlikely to get far unless the president relents.

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