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Three Big Things
 you need to know
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2
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The Latest: Congress seems no closer to reopening government

The Latest: Congress seems no closer to reopening government

The Latest on the government shutdown (all times local):2:55 p.m.Republicans and Democrats appear to be no closer to ending a government shutdown, and the White House is indicating it's waiting for Democrats to drop their demand that a funding bill include protections for younger immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.Budget director Mick Mulvaney and legislative affairs director Marc Short are lobbing verbal attacks at Democrats for blocking a spending bill over the unrelated legislation.Short told reporters Saturday that 'it's like a 2-year-old temper tantrum.'Mulvaney says the administration is trying to mitigate the impact of the funding lapse, noting many national parks and government offices will be open during the duration. But he says the effects will still be significant.Democrats are blaming the shutdown on Republicans, who control the White House and Congress.___2:40 p.m.The White House says President Donald Trump will not attend a fundraiser at his Florida estate because of the ongoing government shutdown in Washington.Budget director Mick Mulvaney says Trump will not appear at the high-dollar fundraiser Saturday night at his Palm Beach estate.Mulvaney also told reporters during a press briefing Saturday that Trump's participation in the World Economic Forum is up in the air. He says the White House is taking Trump's visit, as well as the planned attendance of much of the Cabinet at the Davos, Switzerland, event, 'on a day by day basis.'Trump is scheduled to depart Washington for the Swiss Alps on Wednesday evening. A number of White House staffers and agency advance teams are already on the ground awaiting his arrival.___12:40 p.m.A Florida fundraiser celebrating President Donald Trump's first year in office will go on with or without him.That's according to a Trump campaign official who was not authorized to publicly discuss planning and spoke on condition of anonymity.Trump had hoped to spend the anniversary of his inauguration in Florida attending a high-dollar fundraiser taking place Saturday night at his Palm Beach estate. Instead, the president is reckoning with a federal government shutdown brought on by disagreement with lawmakers over what should be included in a government funding bill.Trump scrapped plans to depart Washington on Friday. It remains unclear whether he still plans to attend.Tickets start at $100,000 per couple and $250,000 to attend a round-table. The proceeds benefit a joint committee between Trump's campaign and the Republican National Committee.— By Associated Press writer Jill Colvin___12:35 p.m.House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi is rejecting a fallback plan by Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to pass a short-term spending plan through Feb. 8.Pelosi says 'there's no point' in approving a short-term bill unless both sides agree on how to move forward.She and other Democrats said Saturday that they want 'parity' on spending increases for defense and domestic programs such as opioid addiction and community health centers.Pelosi says that even without a dispute over immigration, Democrats would not agree to a GOP spending plan unless it pays for domestic programs Democrats consider crucial.Democrats have blamed the shutdown on Republicans, who control Congress and the White House. Republicans say Democrats are 'holding our government hostage' to win protections for young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.___12:25 p.m.Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan says the partial government shutdown is 'utter madness' and he is blaming it all on Senate Democrats.Ryan said Saturday that the Democrats are 'deliberately holding our government hostage' to win protections for younger immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.He blasted Democrats for a filibuster on a House-passed stopgap funding bill that would keep the government open through Feb. 16 and reauthorize a health care program for 9 million children from low-income families. He accused them of 'opposing a bill they don't even oppose.'Ryan says, 'We do some crazy things in Washington, but this is utter madness.'Democrats are blaming the shutdown on Republicans, who control Congress and the White House.___11:10 a.m.The White House says President Donald Trump phoned Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to discuss strategies to reopen the government.Deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley says Trump called the Republican Senate leader on Saturday morning. Gidley says chief of staff John Kelly is speaking with lawmakers and congressional leadership, while legislative affairs director Marc Short and budget director Mick Mulvaney are on Capitol Hill.The shutdown is marring the anniversary of Trump's inauguration. For a businessman who made his career selling himself as a deal-maker, he is struggling to find consensus with Congress on a funding agreement.The White House says Trump will not negotiate with Democrats over their demands to provide legal protections for roughly 700,000 young immigrants known as 'Dreamers' until the government is reopened.___11 a.m.Junior White House aides are using their out-of-office messages to assign blame to Democrats for the government shutdown.The automatic replies from White House assistant press secretaries Ninio Fetalvo and Natalie Strom say, 'Unfortunately, I am out of the office today because congressional Democrats are holding government funding_including funding for our troops and other national security priorities_hostage to an unrelated immigration debate.'Hundreds of nonessential White House staffers are barred by law from working during the shutdown. The three deputy press secretaries are still working, however, as is press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.President Donald Trump had been set to leave Friday for a fundraiser Saturday at his Florida estate marking the anniversary of his inauguration but delayed the trip over the shutdown. It's unclear if he will attend.___10:25 a.m.House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi is giving President Donald Trump an F for 'failure in leadership' on the anniversary of his inauguration.Pelosi also slammed congressional Republicans on Saturday as the government shutdown began.In a speech on the House floor, Pelosi said Republicans who control the White House and hold majorities in the House and Senate are 'so incompetent and negligent that they couldn't get it together to keep the government open.'Pelosi urged Republicans to 'get down to business for everyday people in America.'She says Trump has tweeted that the country 'needs a good shutdown.' She says: 'Your wish has come true for your one-year anniversary.'Republicans have blamed Democrats for the shutdown.___9:50 a.m.The White House says President Donald Trump will not negotiate immigration policy with Congress until the government reopens.Spokesman Hogan Gidley says it's 'disgusting' that Senate Democrats 'decided to just throw our military under the bus.'Some government functions shut down at midnight Friday after the Senate failed to pass a short-term extension of government funding. Some Democrats voted against the bill because it did not include measures to shield from deportation immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.Democrats demanded that immigration be included in the funding bill. The White House insists the issues be deal with separately.Trump in a tweet Saturday accused Democrats of being more concerned about immigrants in the country illegally than about the military.___7:35 a.m.President Donald Trump is blaming Democrats for the government shutdown — tweeting that they wanted to give him 'a nice present' to mark the one-year anniversary of his inauguration.He says Democrats 'could have easily made a deal but decided to play Shutdown politics instead.'And as part of a series of tweets hours after the shutdown began, the president is trying to make the case for Americans to elect more Republicans in the November elections 'in order to power through this mess.'Trump is accusing Democrats of being more concerned with 'Illegal Immigrants than they are with our great Military or Safety at our dangerous' border with Mexico.He's also noting there are 51 Republicans in the Senate, and it takes 60 votes to move ahead on legislation to keep the government running — so some Democratic support is needed now.In Trump's view, 'that is why we need to win more Republicans' in the midterm elections.___2:36 a.m.The federal government has shut down.That means a halt to all but the most essential operations. And the shutdown is marring the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump's inauguration.It's a striking display of Washington dysfunction.Last-minute negotiations crumbled when Senate Democrats blocked a four-week extension. And that's led to the fourth government shutdown in a quarter-century.Leading Republicans and Democrats are now trying to work out a compromise to avert a lengthy shutdown.Congress has scheduled an unusual Saturday session to begin considering a three-week version of the short-term spending measure.

Women's marches, events taking place across nation

Women's marches, events taking place across nation

A series of women’s marches, protests and voter registration events are taking place across the country this weekend. This weekend marks the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration. In 2017, the Women’s March on Washington drew a large crowd that marched in protest of Trump’s election. Women’s marches were held across the country and the world. For 2018, marches and rallies are being held in cities across the country throughout the weekend. There will be a voter registration drive on Sunday in Las Vegas.

Long shutdown could hurt economy, a short one just 'a blip'

Long shutdown could hurt economy, a short one just 'a blip'

If the shutdown lasts just days or even a couple of weeks, the robust stock market that President Donald Trump has boasted about probably will emerge unscathed. A longer impasse, economists say, could rattle consumer and investor confidence, pulling stocks lower and dragging down the economy. Economists and investment advisers interviewed by The Associated Press generally didn't foresee the shutdown that began Saturday lasting long enough to stifle the economy much. With pivotal elections in November, both parties would want to shield voters from any pain. Investors and consumers are feeling optimistic now based on the tax cut signed into law last month, and the economy is strong enough to power through a short shutdown. But Randy Warren, CEO of Warren Financial Service, a Philadelphia-area investment advisory firm, said shutdown that drags on for six weeks or longer — an unimaginable scenario — could kill a bull market and discourage people from spending money. 'These things start to pile up,' he said Saturday. 'When you start to doubt the future, then you start to doubt investing.' And that's among the reasons Warren and others don't see a lengthy stalemate. 'It seems unlikely at this point that it would be a four-week shutdown,' said Beth Ann Bovino, chief U.S. economist at Standard & Poor's. 'It will hopefully be a blip.' The Standard & Poor's 500 index and Nasdaq composite closed at record highs Friday. The Russell 2000 index, composed of smaller, more domestically-focused companies, climbed more than 1 percent and also finished at a record high. 'Unless it meaningfully impacts the U.S. consumer and leads them to spend much less money, leading to some kind of major (economic) slowdown, it's not a big deal,' said Sameer Samana, global equity and technical strategist for the Wells Fargo Investment Institute. The economy could take a hit if national parks and monuments are closed or operations curtailed for a long period. Trips could be canceled, cutting vacation dollars that roll into communities near the parks. The Interior Department pledged to keep as many parks and public lands open as possible, but the pattern on Saturday was spotty. Some parks such as Yellowstone and Yosemite were open with limited services, but the Statue of Liberty in New York and the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia were closed. After the 16-day government shutdown in October 2013, the Bureau of Economic Analysis estimated that it trimmed an annualized 0.3 percent from growth during the final three months of that year. The reduced growth was mostly because federal employees worked fewer hours. Leslie Preston, a senior economist at TD Bank, said the economy is currently 'strong enough to withstand' a similarly sized hit because growth is projected to be nearly 2.5 percent in the January-March quarter. ____ Krisher reported from Detroit. AP Economics Writer Josh Boak in Washington and Markets Writer Marley Jay in New York contributed to this report.

Build a Habitat home with Clark Howard! Join Clark and Atlanta Habitat for Humanity as we build affordable homes for families in need. It's a fun and rewarding way to give a hand up to hard working families in your community.Sign up here to join our 2018 winter build. Sign up for Clark’s 2018 Habitat for Humanity Build Register here to volunteer for our upcoming build. Clark’s 2018 Habitat build dates are January 18 - March 3.Volunteer slots fill up fast, so plan ahead and sign up early.    Release and Waiver of Liability:Every volunteer is required to register online and agree to Atlanta Habitat's work release form before they can begin helping on the construction site. If you are under 18 years old, you must print and bring a copy of the form signed by your guardian to the build site.Location/Directions:Workday Schedule:Breakfast and registration begin at 7:30am; the workday starts at 7:45am SHARP and ends around 3:30pm.It's crucial that all volunteers arrive on time, as important daily instructions are given then. If you miss the morning meeting, you might not be allowed to work that day.  Lunch will be served around noon at the site. Lunch, Drinks and Snacks:A free catered lunch is always provided for our volunteers, along with hot coffee, soft drinks, water and snacks. There is typically a vegetarian option provided.Parking and Automobiles:Atlanta Habitat strongly encourages volunteers to carpool. Police officers will be on duty, but the fewer cars in the area the better. Remember to remove anything of value from your car.Construction Policies:  No one under the age of 16 is allowed on site – no exceptions. Volunteers ages 16 and 17 must have a parent or guardian sign their Release and Waiver of Liability. No smoking allowed on site. Report all injuries to your houseleader immediately to be eligible for secondary health coverage. Weather Conditions:Atlanta Habitat works rain or shine! Workdays are not typically canceled in advance due to adverse weather conditions. If rain or other problems persist, the decision will be made to shorten the workday on site by the houseleader. But everyone should come prepared to work for the entire day. After Day 3 in the schedule, there is enough inside work for all volunteers in case of inclement weather. What to Wear:Volunteers should dress warmly and comfortably for a hard day's work. Clark's build days are some of the coldest of the year, so you will want to layer your clothes and wear something to keep your head warm. Loose clothing and improper shoes can be dangerous.  Work boots or no-skid, thick-sole shoes are preferred. Long pants and long sleeves are recommended as some construction materials can irritate your skin. Bring a pair of work gloves, if possible. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: Q: What do I need to bring?A: Nothing. Habitat provides all tools, though if you have a favorite you'd like to work with, see Tools & Equipment below for complete guidelines.Q: Can I bring my kids along to help?A: No, due to workforce regulations, no one under 16 is allowed on site, no exceptions. Volunteers age 16-17 must have a parent or guardian sign their Release and Waiver of Liability.Q: What if it rains?A: Atlanta Habitat works rain or shine, though some houseleaders may decide to shorten the day. After Day 3 there is plenty of indoor work to be accomplished.Q: I have building materials/furnishings/appliances/etc. that I'd like to donate. How do I do this?A: You will need to arrange this directly with Atlanta Habitat for Humanity. Please contact them at (404)223-5180.Q: My plans have changed. May I cancel my volunteer slot?A: Yes, but PLEASE cancel online at least one week in advance so we can find someone else to take your place. We work hard to provide just the right amount of volunteers each day, specifically chosen to work alongside Clark. We must assure that there are enough hands to accomplish the day's goals, yet also assure that there will be tools and provisions to go around for all.Q: How is Clark involved?A: Clark has been building Habitat homes in Atlanta since 1996. He uses the money he makes from his speaking engagements to sponsor the homes. Learn how he got involved, in Clark's own words!     AT THE CONSTRUCTION SITE: Tools and Equipment:Atlanta Habitat provides all tools needed for the build. Volunteers are welcome to bring tools, but Atlanta Habitat is not responsible for lost or damaged tools. If you do choose to bring your own, please take time to clearly mark them with your name and phone number.  Always use the right tool for the job and ask for instructions before using a tool for the first time. Tools should not be loose, dull or poorly adjusted. Please notify the houseleader if unsafe or damaged tools are in use. Check for defective cords, plugs and switches; do not use anything that is unsafe. Never remove or disable tool guards. Ask houseleader for help if a tool jams. Support materials properly before cutting or drilling. Use both hands (if required) to operate a tool safely, if not keep other hand clear. Never place tools where they can fall on someone or cause an accident, e.g. top rung of a ladder, rooftop, railings. Ladders:Many tasks performed on site require a ladder.  Inspect all ladders before use. Set ladder on solid ground. To level, dig a hole on the high side rather than building up the lower side. Use the correct size ladder; never overextend yourself. Do not stretch to the side, instead move the ladder (even if that means re-setting it.) Never stand on top rungs of a ladder. Keep ladder clear of any power lines. Always face ladder and keep hands free while climbing. Safety and Insurance:Construction is considered to be a dangerous undertaking. Volunteers are asked to be as alert as possible to the safety risks. Volunteers under the age of 16 are not permitted to participate or to be present on site for insurance reasons. Habitat carries co-insurance on volunteers, which is activated when the volunteer signs up on site. The insurance will supplement the volunteer's own insurance in case of accidents, and provides basic coverage for volunteers who do not have insurance. First aid kits and insurance claim forms are available from Habitat staff. ALL volunteers must sign in every day that they work; otherwise, they will not be covered under Habitat's insurance.A Clean Work Site:A clean site is a safer work place. As things can quickly pile up, it is best to clean up and put tools away continuously throughout the day.  Do not leave tools or materials where others can trip over them. Organize debris. Please ask the houseleader for direction on what trash may be recycled. Always backdrive or bend nails in boards.    Clark's Atlanta Habitat for Humanity Sponsors  Each year several local and national companies donate their products and services as a way to help our homeowners settle into their new homes more easily. These companies dedicate their time, money and hard work to our home building projects, and, once again, we sincerely thank each one of our generous sponsors:     
Build a Habitat home with Clark Howard! Join Clark and Atlanta Habitat for Humanity as we build affordable homes for families in need. It's a fun and rewarding way to give a hand up to hard working families in your community.Sign up here to join our 2018 winter build. Sign up for Clark’s 2018 Habitat for Humanity Build Register here to volunteer for our upcoming build. Clark’s 2018 Habitat build dates are January 18 - March 3.Volunteer slots fill up fast, so plan ahead and sign up early.    Release and Waiver of Liability:Every volunteer is required to register online and agree to Atlanta Habitat's work release form before they can begin helping on the construction site. If you are under 18 years old, you must print and bring a copy of the form signed by your guardian to the build site.Location/Directions:Workday Schedule:Breakfast and registration begin at 7:30am; the workday starts at 7:45am SHARP and ends around 3:30pm.It's crucial that all volunteers arrive on time, as important daily instructions are given then. If you miss the morning meeting, you might not be allowed to work that day.  Lunch will be served around noon at the site. Lunch, Drinks and Snacks:A free catered lunch is always provided for our volunteers, along with hot coffee, soft drinks, water and snacks. There is typically a vegetarian option provided.Parking and Automobiles:Atlanta Habitat strongly encourages volunteers to carpool. Police officers will be on duty, but the fewer cars in the area the better. Remember to remove anything of value from your car.Construction Policies:  No one under the age of 16 is allowed on site – no exceptions. Volunteers ages 16 and 17 must have a parent or guardian sign their Release and Waiver of Liability. No smoking allowed on site. Report all injuries to your houseleader immediately to be eligible for secondary health coverage. Weather Conditions:Atlanta Habitat works rain or shine! Workdays are not typically canceled in advance due to adverse weather conditions. If rain or other problems persist, the decision will be made to shorten the workday on site by the houseleader. But everyone should come prepared to work for the entire day. After Day 3 in the schedule, there is enough inside work for all volunteers in case of inclement weather. What to Wear:Volunteers should dress warmly and comfortably for a hard day's work. Clark's build days are some of the coldest of the year, so you will want to layer your clothes and wear something to keep your head warm. Loose clothing and improper shoes can be dangerous.  Work boots or no-skid, thick-sole shoes are preferred. Long pants and long sleeves are recommended as some construction materials can irritate your skin. Bring a pair of work gloves, if possible. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: Q: What do I need to bring?A: Nothing. Habitat provides all tools, though if you have a favorite you'd like to work with, see Tools & Equipment below for complete guidelines.Q: Can I bring my kids along to help?A: No, due to workforce regulations, no one under 16 is allowed on site, no exceptions. Volunteers age 16-17 must have a parent or guardian sign their Release and Waiver of Liability.Q: What if it rains?A: Atlanta Habitat works rain or shine, though some houseleaders may decide to shorten the day. After Day 3 there is plenty of indoor work to be accomplished.Q: I have building materials/furnishings/appliances/etc. that I'd like to donate. How do I do this?A: You will need to arrange this directly with Atlanta Habitat for Humanity. Please contact them at (404)223-5180.Q: My plans have changed. May I cancel my volunteer slot?A: Yes, but PLEASE cancel online at least one week in advance so we can find someone else to take your place. We work hard to provide just the right amount of volunteers each day, specifically chosen to work alongside Clark. We must assure that there are enough hands to accomplish the day's goals, yet also assure that there will be tools and provisions to go around for all.Q: How is Clark involved?A: Clark has been building Habitat homes in Atlanta since 1996. He uses the money he makes from his speaking engagements to sponsor the homes. Learn how he got involved, in Clark's own words!     AT THE CONSTRUCTION SITE: Tools and Equipment:Atlanta Habitat provides all tools needed for the build. Volunteers are welcome to bring tools, but Atlanta Habitat is not responsible for lost or damaged tools. If you do choose to bring your own, please take time to clearly mark them with your name and phone number.  Always use the right tool for the job and ask for instructions before using a tool for the first time. Tools should not be loose, dull or poorly adjusted. Please notify the houseleader if unsafe or damaged tools are in use. Check for defective cords, plugs and switches; do not use anything that is unsafe. Never remove or disable tool guards. Ask houseleader for help if a tool jams. Support materials properly before cutting or drilling. Use both hands (if required) to operate a tool safely, if not keep other hand clear. Never place tools where they can fall on someone or cause an accident, e.g. top rung of a ladder, rooftop, railings. Ladders:Many tasks performed on site require a ladder.  Inspect all ladders before use. Set ladder on solid ground. To level, dig a hole on the high side rather than building up the lower side. Use the correct size ladder; never overextend yourself. Do not stretch to the side, instead move the ladder (even if that means re-setting it.) Never stand on top rungs of a ladder. Keep ladder clear of any power lines. Always face ladder and keep hands free while climbing. Safety and Insurance:Construction is considered to be a dangerous undertaking. Volunteers are asked to be as alert as possible to the safety risks. Volunteers under the age of 16 are not permitted to participate or to be present on site for insurance reasons. Habitat carries co-insurance on volunteers, which is activated when the volunteer signs up on site. The insurance will supplement the volunteer's own insurance in case of accidents, and provides basic coverage for volunteers who do not have insurance. First aid kits and insurance claim forms are available from Habitat staff. ALL volunteers must sign in every day that they work; otherwise, they will not be covered under Habitat's insurance.A Clean Work Site:A clean site is a safer work place. As things can quickly pile up, it is best to clean up and put tools away continuously throughout the day.  Do not leave tools or materials where others can trip over them. Organize debris. Please ask the houseleader for direction on what trash may be recycled. Always backdrive or bend nails in boards.    Clark's Atlanta Habitat for Humanity Sponsors  Each year several local and national companies donate their products and services as a way to help our homeowners settle into their new homes more easily. These companies dedicate their time, money and hard work to our home building projects, and, once again, we sincerely thank each one of our generous sponsors:     
Build a Habitat home with Clark Howard! Join Clark and Atlanta Habitat for Humanity as we build affordable homes for families in need. It's a fun and rewarding way to give a hand up to hard working families in your community.Sign up here to join our 2018 winter build. Sign up for Clark’s 2018 Habitat for Humanity Build Register here to volunteer for our upcoming build. Clark’s 2018 Habitat build dates are January 18 - March 3.Volunteer slots fill up fast, so plan ahead and sign up early.    Release and Waiver of Liability:Every volunteer is required to register online and agree to Atlanta Habitat's work release form before they can begin helping on the construction site. If you are under 18 years old, you must print and bring a copy of the form signed by your guardian to the build site.Location/Directions:Workday Schedule:Breakfast and registration begin at 7:30am; the workday starts at 7:45am SHARP and ends around 3:30pm.It's crucial that all volunteers arrive on time, as important daily instructions are given then. If you miss the morning meeting, you might not be allowed to work that day.  Lunch will be served around noon at the site. Lunch, Drinks and Snacks:A free catered lunch is always provided for our volunteers, along with hot coffee, soft drinks, water and snacks. There is typically a vegetarian option provided.Parking and Automobiles:Atlanta Habitat strongly encourages volunteers to carpool. Police officers will be on duty, but the fewer cars in the area the better. Remember to remove anything of value from your car.Construction Policies:  No one under the age of 16 is allowed on site – no exceptions. Volunteers ages 16 and 17 must have a parent or guardian sign their Release and Waiver of Liability. No smoking allowed on site. Report all injuries to your houseleader immediately to be eligible for secondary health coverage. Weather Conditions:Atlanta Habitat works rain or shine! Workdays are not typically canceled in advance due to adverse weather conditions. If rain or other problems persist, the decision will be made to shorten the workday on site by the houseleader. But everyone should come prepared to work for the entire day. After Day 3 in the schedule, there is enough inside work for all volunteers in case of inclement weather. What to Wear:Volunteers should dress warmly and comfortably for a hard day's work. Clark's build days are some of the coldest of the year, so you will want to layer your clothes and wear something to keep your head warm. Loose clothing and improper shoes can be dangerous.  Work boots or no-skid, thick-sole shoes are preferred. Long pants and long sleeves are recommended as some construction materials can irritate your skin. Bring a pair of work gloves, if possible. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: Q: What do I need to bring?A: Nothing. Habitat provides all tools, though if you have a favorite you'd like to work with, see Tools & Equipment below for complete guidelines.Q: Can I bring my kids along to help?A: No, due to workforce regulations, no one under 16 is allowed on site, no exceptions. Volunteers age 16-17 must have a parent or guardian sign their Release and Waiver of Liability.Q: What if it rains?A: Atlanta Habitat works rain or shine, though some houseleaders may decide to shorten the day. After Day 3 there is plenty of indoor work to be accomplished.Q: I have building materials/furnishings/appliances/etc. that I'd like to donate. How do I do this?A: You will need to arrange this directly with Atlanta Habitat for Humanity. Please contact them at (404)223-5180.Q: My plans have changed. May I cancel my volunteer slot?A: Yes, but PLEASE cancel online at least one week in advance so we can find someone else to take your place. We work hard to provide just the right amount of volunteers each day, specifically chosen to work alongside Clark. We must assure that there are enough hands to accomplish the day's goals, yet also assure that there will be tools and provisions to go around for all.Q: How is Clark involved?A: Clark has been building Habitat homes in Atlanta since 1996. He uses the money he makes from his speaking engagements to sponsor the homes. Learn how he got involved, in Clark's own words!     AT THE CONSTRUCTION SITE: Tools and Equipment:Atlanta Habitat provides all tools needed for the build. Volunteers are welcome to bring tools, but Atlanta Habitat is not responsible for lost or damaged tools. If you do choose to bring your own, please take time to clearly mark them with your name and phone number.  Always use the right tool for the job and ask for instructions before using a tool for the first time. Tools should not be loose, dull or poorly adjusted. Please notify the houseleader if unsafe or damaged tools are in use. Check for defective cords, plugs and switches; do not use anything that is unsafe. Never remove or disable tool guards. Ask houseleader for help if a tool jams. Support materials properly before cutting or drilling. Use both hands (if required) to operate a tool safely, if not keep other hand clear. Never place tools where they can fall on someone or cause an accident, e.g. top rung of a ladder, rooftop, railings. Ladders:Many tasks performed on site require a ladder.  Inspect all ladders before use. Set ladder on solid ground. To level, dig a hole on the high side rather than building up the lower side. Use the correct size ladder; never overextend yourself. Do not stretch to the side, instead move the ladder (even if that means re-setting it.) Never stand on top rungs of a ladder. Keep ladder clear of any power lines. Always face ladder and keep hands free while climbing. Safety and Insurance:Construction is considered to be a dangerous undertaking. Volunteers are asked to be as alert as possible to the safety risks. Volunteers under the age of 16 are not permitted to participate or to be present on site for insurance reasons. Habitat carries co-insurance on volunteers, which is activated when the volunteer signs up on site. The insurance will supplement the volunteer's own insurance in case of accidents, and provides basic coverage for volunteers who do not have insurance. First aid kits and insurance claim forms are available from Habitat staff. ALL volunteers must sign in every day that they work; otherwise, they will not be covered under Habitat's insurance.A Clean Work Site:A clean site is a safer work place. As things can quickly pile up, it is best to clean up and put tools away continuously throughout the day.  Do not leave tools or materials where others can trip over them. Organize debris. Please ask the houseleader for direction on what trash may be recycled. Always backdrive or bend nails in boards.    Clark's Atlanta Habitat for Humanity Sponsors  Each year several local and national companies donate their products and services as a way to help our homeowners settle into their new homes more easily. These companies dedicate their time, money and hard work to our home building projects, and, once again, we sincerely thank each one of our generous sponsors:     
Build a Habitat home with Clark Howard! Join Clark and Atlanta Habitat for Humanity as we build affordable homes for families in need. It's a fun and rewarding way to give a hand up to hard working families in your community.Sign up here to join our 2018 winter build. Sign up for Clark’s 2018 Habitat for Humanity Build Register here to volunteer for our upcoming build. Clark’s 2018 Habitat build dates are January 18 - March 3.Volunteer slots fill up fast, so plan ahead and sign up early.    Release and Waiver of Liability:Every volunteer is required to register online and agree to Atlanta Habitat's work release form before they can begin helping on the construction site. If you are under 18 years old, you must print and bring a copy of the form signed by your guardian to the build site.Location/Directions:Workday Schedule:Breakfast and registration begin at 7:30am; the workday starts at 7:45am SHARP and ends around 3:30pm.It's crucial that all volunteers arrive on time, as important daily instructions are given then. If you miss the morning meeting, you might not be allowed to work that day.  Lunch will be served around noon at the site. Lunch, Drinks and Snacks:A free catered lunch is always provided for our volunteers, along with hot coffee, soft drinks, water and snacks. There is typically a vegetarian option provided.Parking and Automobiles:Atlanta Habitat strongly encourages volunteers to carpool. Police officers will be on duty, but the fewer cars in the area the better. Remember to remove anything of value from your car.Construction Policies:  No one under the age of 16 is allowed on site – no exceptions. Volunteers ages 16 and 17 must have a parent or guardian sign their Release and Waiver of Liability. No smoking allowed on site. Report all injuries to your houseleader immediately to be eligible for secondary health coverage. Weather Conditions:Atlanta Habitat works rain or shine! Workdays are not typically canceled in advance due to adverse weather conditions. If rain or other problems persist, the decision will be made to shorten the workday on site by the houseleader. But everyone should come prepared to work for the entire day. After Day 3 in the schedule, there is enough inside work for all volunteers in case of inclement weather. What to Wear:Volunteers should dress warmly and comfortably for a hard day's work. Clark's build days are some of the coldest of the year, so you will want to layer your clothes and wear something to keep your head warm. Loose clothing and improper shoes can be dangerous.  Work boots or no-skid, thick-sole shoes are preferred. Long pants and long sleeves are recommended as some construction materials can irritate your skin. Bring a pair of work gloves, if possible. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: Q: What do I need to bring?A: Nothing. Habitat provides all tools, though if you have a favorite you'd like to work with, see Tools & Equipment below for complete guidelines.Q: Can I bring my kids along to help?A: No, due to workforce regulations, no one under 16 is allowed on site, no exceptions. Volunteers age 16-17 must have a parent or guardian sign their Release and Waiver of Liability.Q: What if it rains?A: Atlanta Habitat works rain or shine, though some houseleaders may decide to shorten the day. After Day 3 there is plenty of indoor work to be accomplished.Q: I have building materials/furnishings/appliances/etc. that I'd like to donate. How do I do this?A: You will need to arrange this directly with Atlanta Habitat for Humanity. Please contact them at (404)223-5180.Q: My plans have changed. May I cancel my volunteer slot?A: Yes, but PLEASE cancel online at least one week in advance so we can find someone else to take your place. We work hard to provide just the right amount of volunteers each day, specifically chosen to work alongside Clark. We must assure that there are enough hands to accomplish the day's goals, yet also assure that there will be tools and provisions to go around for all.Q: How is Clark involved?A: Clark has been building Habitat homes in Atlanta since 1996. He uses the money he makes from his speaking engagements to sponsor the homes. Learn how he got involved, in Clark's own words!     AT THE CONSTRUCTION SITE: Tools and Equipment:Atlanta Habitat provides all tools needed for the build. Volunteers are welcome to bring tools, but Atlanta Habitat is not responsible for lost or damaged tools. If you do choose to bring your own, please take time to clearly mark them with your name and phone number.  Always use the right tool for the job and ask for instructions before using a tool for the first time. Tools should not be loose, dull or poorly adjusted. Please notify the houseleader if unsafe or damaged tools are in use. Check for defective cords, plugs and switches; do not use anything that is unsafe. Never remove or disable tool guards. Ask houseleader for help if a tool jams. Support materials properly before cutting or drilling. Use both hands (if required) to operate a tool safely, if not keep other hand clear. Never place tools where they can fall on someone or cause an accident, e.g. top rung of a ladder, rooftop, railings. Ladders:Many tasks performed on site require a ladder.  Inspect all ladders before use. Set ladder on solid ground. To level, dig a hole on the high side rather than building up the lower side. Use the correct size ladder; never overextend yourself. Do not stretch to the side, instead move the ladder (even if that means re-setting it.) Never stand on top rungs of a ladder. Keep ladder clear of any power lines. Always face ladder and keep hands free while climbing. Safety and Insurance:Construction is considered to be a dangerous undertaking. Volunteers are asked to be as alert as possible to the safety risks. Volunteers under the age of 16 are not permitted to participate or to be present on site for insurance reasons. Habitat carries co-insurance on volunteers, which is activated when the volunteer signs up on site. The insurance will supplement the volunteer's own insurance in case of accidents, and provides basic coverage for volunteers who do not have insurance. First aid kits and insurance claim forms are available from Habitat staff. ALL volunteers must sign in every day that they work; otherwise, they will not be covered under Habitat's insurance.A Clean Work Site:A clean site is a safer work place. As things can quickly pile up, it is best to clean up and put tools away continuously throughout the day.  Do not leave tools or materials where others can trip over them. Organize debris. Please ask the houseleader for direction on what trash may be recycled. Always backdrive or bend nails in boards.    Clark's Atlanta Habitat for Humanity Sponsors  Each year several local and national companies donate their products and services as a way to help our homeowners settle into their new homes more easily. These companies dedicate their time, money and hard work to our home building projects, and, once again, we sincerely thank each one of our generous sponsors:     
Congress at work on a Saturday as lawmakers try to end shutdown quickly

Hours after funding lapsed for the federal government at midnight, lawmakers returned to work for an unusual Saturday session of the House and Senate, as both parties quickly launched themselves into finger pointing over who is to blame for the first government shutdown since 2013, with few signs that a deal was near on the major spending and immigration issues that brought about the standoff.

“Get it together,” House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi bluntly said to Republicans in a morning speech on the House floor, as she led a chorus from her party in blaming the President for the budgetary impasse.

“The [More]