Speaker Pelosi says Pres. Trump 'silent' on postponing State of the Union

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President Donald Trump blamed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday for a government shutdown that he has already said he was "proud" to cause.

Pelosi is refusing money for the wall she views as ineffective and immoral; Democrats say they will discuss border security once the government has reopened.

Democratic leaders have not budged on that issue, leading White House negotiators to try to target moderate members to put pressure on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

They are not the only folks trying to get the government to reopen: A bipartisan group of senators is circulating a letter urging a stopgap bill to be signed by President Trump so the government can reopen, The Hill reports.

Worse, Democrats are doing it over a border wall strikingly similar to one that they nearly unanimously supported just five years ago.

Democrats remain opposed to Trump's demand for $5.7 billion to build a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border.

S. 24, the "Government Employee Fair Treatment Act of 2019", which requires the compensation of government employees for wages lost, work performed, or leave used during a lapse in appropriations that begins on or after December 22, 2018, and entitles excepted employees to use leave during a lapse in appropriations.

On Dec. 11, in Trump's first encounter with the congressional leaders of the newly empowered Democrats, he appeared eager to take responsibility for any government shutdown.

U.S. government shutdown hits record length with no end seen
People close to the President said fears about a sharp backlash from lawmakers played a significant factor in this, despite Sen. Trump says in a Fox News Channel interview that he has "no idea" whether he can get a deal with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Yet Democrats fear that if they negotiate while the shutdown persists, it would encourage Trump to use such brinkmanship in the future.

While Pelosi's letter is framed as a request to find a new date, the decision of when to host the President is very much up to the speaker of the House.

Senate Democrats have planned to gather on the steps of the Capitol to highlight the havoc the shutdown is wreaking, as 800,000 federal workers are furloughed or work without pay, and contractors do not receive payments.

The absolutist position of both Democratic lawmakers and Trump has many of his senior advisers anxious about economic ramifications.

"Since the start of modern budgeting in Fiscal Year 1977, a State of the Union address has never been delivered during a government shutdown", Pelosi wrote. "It would be completely inappropriate for President Trump to further deplete the agency's resources and manpower for the sole objective of having an hour of uninterrupted prime time television coverage", he said.

The last US president to deliver a State of the Union address in writing was Jimmy Carter in 1981, though a written message conveyed to Congress was the historical norm in an era before broadcast radio or television.

The White House estimates that the shutdown will likely reduce quarterly U.S. GDP by 0.1 percent every two weeks that it continues.

Officials say the rate of airport screeners missing work during the partial government shutdown has stabilized just days before the upcoming Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, which is likely to mean bigger airport crowds. "We thank the Service for their mission focus and dedication and for all they do each day to secure our homeland".

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