Newest shutdown casualty: Trump’s own policies

Among other administration priorities, the government shutdown is hampering efforts by agencies such as EPA and the Interior department to unwind Obama-era energy regulations. | Brennan Linsley, File/AP Photo

The government shutdown is threatening important pieces of President Donald Trumps agenda, escalating the political stakes as he and Congress vie to see who blinks first.

At EPA and the Interior Department, furloughs have frozen efforts to roll back Obama-era regulations and open new water to oil and gas drilling. The White House has sent home key staff coordinating its response to the opioid crisis. And if the partial shutdown drags on long enough, it could force Trump to cancel a late-January trip to Davos, Switzerland, and delay congressional action on the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal.

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Trump shows no signs of backing off, telling reporters that the shutdown triggered by his demands that Congress fund a border wall has a higher purpose than next weeks pay. But the potential blowback to his own policy priorities shows that the closure is likely to inflict cascading harm as it continues, beyond its initial impact on parks, museums and federal workers paychecks.

The prospect of a long shutdown is already worrying people in some industries, who fear it could burn valuable time for agencies trying to unwind the Obama administrations regulations. A lengthy enough delay could even push the inevitable legal fights into the next presiden....

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