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The shutdown today: Trump decides to postpone speech

Nancy Pelosi Photo: AP. Nancy Pelosi

January 24, 2019 12:52 AM

What's up with the partial government shutdown on Day 34:

WHAT'S NEW

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The showdown over the State of the Union address ended Wednesday night when President Donald Trump said he would wait until after the partial government shutdown to address Congress and the nation. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had withdrawn an invitation for Trump to deliver the address next Tuesday at the House chamber, a decision that led the White House to consider other venues for a time.

A strong majority of Americans blame Trump for the record-long government shutdown and reject his primary rationale for a border wall, according to a new poll that shows the turmoil in Washington is dragging his approval rating to its lowest level in more than a year.

The government shutdown poses an increasing risk to the broader economy as federal employees across the country and government contractors postpone all manners of spending.

Several hundred of the 46,000 furloughed IRS employees recalled to work last week have gotten permission to stay off the job because of financial hardship.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY

Trump letter to Pelosi: "It would be so very sad for our Country if the State of the Union were not delivered on time, on schedule, and very importantly, on location!"

Pelosi response to Trump: "Again, I look forward to welcoming you to the House on a mutually agreeable date for this address when government has been opened."

Trump tweet: "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. I look forward to giving a "great" State of the Union Address in the near future!"

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WHAT'S COMING NEXT

Votes are set in the Senate for Thursday on two competing proposals to end the government shutdown. One is favored by Republicans, and the other is favored by Democrats. Neither appears likely to pass.

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WHAT REMAINS CLOSED

Nine of the 15 Cabinet-level departments have not been funded, including Agriculture , Homeland Security, State, Transportation, Interior and Justice. Some iconic National Park facilities are shuttered as are the Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo in Washington. Nearly everyone at NASA is being told to stay home.

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WHO IS AT WORK BUT NOT GETTING PAID

Employees of the Transportation Security Administration are among the estimated 460,000 federal employees who have been working without pay. The agency, which has been experiencing far-higher-than-usual unscheduled absences during the shutdown, said Monday that the percentage of its airport screeners missing work hit 10 percent on Sunday — up from 3.1 percent on the comparable Sunday a year ago.

Even so, the agency said it screened 1.78 million passengers Sunday, and only 6.9 percent had to wait 15 minutes or longer to get through security.

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For AP's complete coverage of the U.S. government shutdown: https://apnews.com/GovernmentShutdown

Credits

By The Associated Press

(Copyright 2019 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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