Pelosi: The State of the Union Still Isn't Happening

Saturday, 26 Jan, 2019

The Senate first rejected a Republican plan reopening the government through September and giving President Trump the $5.7 billion he's demanded for building segments of that wall, a project that he'd long promised Mexico would finance.

However Mr Trump threatened to shutdown the government again if a further agreement cannot be reached over funding for the promised wall along America's southern border with Mexico. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, who's clashed periodically with the president. The Republican bill got 50 votes in favour, which was initially read out as 51, and 47 against.

The measure failed on a 52-44 vote.

Flustered lawmakers said Thursday's roll calls could be a reality check that would prod the start of talks. Stone continues to say he's been falsely accused and will never turn against Trump, but his indictment is raising new questions about the connection between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks during the 2016 election. "We've got to get past this wall-or-no-wall debate". "This is no win for anybody".

The US Senate on Thursday blocked dueling plans to reopen shuttered federal agencies, a fresh setback in efforts to end a month-long government shutdown, but President Donald Trump signaled he could back a new proposal if it includes border security.

"If they come to a reasonable agreement, I would support it", he said, but added: "We have to have a wall in this country".

As the shutdown enters its 34th day, Trump's support is slipping.

Pelosi told reporters she was willing to meet with the Republican president to discuss the issue.

The White House had said Trump would veto the Democratic measure, which was previously passed by the House. Trump told reporters late this afternoon that he is planning an "alternative" for the State of the Union, but he has yet to give specifics on what exactly this means.

Democrats have dismissed the offer, saying they would not negotiate on border security before reopening the government, and that they would not trade a temporary extension of the immigrants' protections in return for a permanent border wall they have called ineffective, costly and immoral. Pelosi expressed "some optimism that things could break loose pretty soon".

But in his speech Friday, Trump said if talks on border security fail to produce a "powerful wall or steel barrier", he would shut down the government again on February 15 or declare a national emergency to build one. He also said he was not looking to build a concrete wall along the entire southern border. The seven-bill CR will include a furloughed employees backpay provision, meaning furloughed federal employees who have been working without pay for the past weeks will be paid.

The reopening of the government, once approved by Congress, would mean that 800,000 federal workers will receive the pay they missed during the longest furlough in USA history.

Like other federal workers, air traffic controllers have been forced to work without pay during the shutdown and some have been calling in sick. Pelosi asked at a news conference.

"The #TrumpShutdown has already pushed hundreds of thousands of Americans to the breaking point", she wrote.

Pelosi responded shortly after, also on Twitter.

The defeated Republican proposal included the $5.7 billion that Trump demanded for the border wall as well as his proposal to give a three-year reprieve for deportation for about 700,000 people who had come illegally to this country as children and about 300,000 who had received temporary asylum as their countries suffered natural calamities like the Nepal quake or violent unrest.