As the longest government shutdown in history continues to trudge on, President Trump and Congressional Democrats are trading blows back and forth, hoping to convince the other side to budge. Last week, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi asked the president to either postpone his scheduled State of the Union address or submit the address in writing until full government funding was restored. As a counter, President Trump denied Pelosi and other politicians the use of military aircraft to travel overseas to Afghanistan.
With tensions between the two parties escalating, some experts believe Pelosi may rescind the invitation to the president, who is still scheduled to address Congress on January 29. Recently, Pelosi stated that her request for the State of the Union to be delayed stemmed from a desire to ensure security officers, who will be required for the event, are paid for their time.
“[Those] who are preparing for the security of the president, the vice president, the House, the Senate, the Cabinet, the Supreme Court and the diplomatic corps, the Joint Chiefs of Staff — that those people who are working so hard to secure this site will be paid,” Pelosi said on Friday, according to the Hill.
However, both the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Secret Service (USSS) said the funding lapse had not affected their defensive posture, according to a report from the Hill. These statements from DHS and USSS seem to have taken some of the wind from the speaker’s sails, at least in her attempts to block the president from making his address. Other prominent Democrats have urged the speaker to ignore the president’s banter entirely.
The underlying issue driving the recent political skirmishes remains the funding for a border wall on the U.S.-Mexico line. It’s an issue President Trump campaigned on, making it a prime target for Democrats who are looking to outmaneuver the president. On Friday, Trump wrote on Twitter that he would be making a “major announcement concerning the Humanitarian Crisis on the Southern Border, and the shutdown.” That announcement, made Saturday, turned out to be a compromise package in which Trump offered Democrats a three-year extension of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy—protecting eligible immigrants from deportation—in exchange for funding of the border wall.
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