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  • Trump 'Uninvited' from State of Union for US Shutdown, Democrats Float 'Smart Wall'

    | Photo: The Nation

Published 24 January 2019
Opinion

As the government shutdown leaves 800,000 federal workers without pay hit its 33rd day, Pelosi effectively disinvited Trump from delivering the annual State of the Union.

U.S. President Donald Trump said in a late night Tweet Wednesday that he would delay a State of the Union address until the government shutdown was over, responding to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s move to obstruct his plans for the speech. 

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Earlier in the day, Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives floated the idea of ending the partial government shutdown by giving Trump most or all of the money he seeks for security along the Mexican border but for items other than the wall he wants.

Other leaders in the Democratic-controlled House said they were drafting a funding offer they will likely make to Trump in a letter with some pushing for something they are calling a “smart wall” which would mean increased Border Patrol agents, new drones, and other improved border security.

Immigrant rights groups however are not happy with the Democrats idea to give Trump increased funding even if it’s not for a wall since much of it would go activities that violate immigrants civil liberties. The ACLU also claims that the so-called “smart wall” would create privacy issues that violate constitutional protections.

The United States House Wednesday passed a bill to open the government for the third time, which Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez voted against, the only Democrat to do so. Her reasoning was that the bill provided funding for the controversial ICE department, accused of violating civil liberties around the countries. The bill has little chance of passing since it will likely not be allowed to a floor vote in the Senate by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and would be vetoed by Trump for not including his wall funding.

As the government shutdown that has left 800,000 federal workers without pay hit its 33rd day, Pelosi effectively disinvited Trump from delivering the annual State of the Union address in the House chamber until the government is fully opened.

The Republican president responded to the Democrat speaker with a tweet.

“This is her prerogative — I will do the Address when the Shutdown is over. I am not looking for an alternative venue for the SOTU Address because there is no venue that can compete with the history, tradition and importance of the House Chamber,” the president said in the tweet.

“I look forward to giving a “great” State of the Union Address in the near future!”

In a sign Trump may be bracing for a long shutdown, a senior administration official said agencies without funding had been asked to give the White House a list of programs that could be hurt “within the coming weeks” if the funding lapse continues.

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