Published: Wed, February 06, 2019
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

Democrats boycotting State of the Union 2019

Democrats boycotting State of the Union 2019

It comes at a perilous time in Trump's presidency, with the threat of another government shutdown looming due to a partisan impasse over construction of a wall on the USA border with Mexico.

Disagreement over border wall funding led to a record-long partial government shutdown which ended earlier this month after Trump agreed to fund the government for three weeks while Congress tries to reach an agreement on the issue. If he builds his State of the Union around the wall, he will be building it around an issue with little constituency outside the most pro-Trump factions of the Republican party. The speech was delayed for a week because of the shutdown, which ended on January 25. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who stood by Trump during the shutdown, said Tuesday that his top priority is forging a bipartisan House-Senate agreement, not placating Trump. Instead he will urge a congressional committee to work out a border security deal by Feb 15.

US President Donald Trump, second right, and Vice President Mike Pence, second left, meet with then-Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, right, and then-House minority leader Nancy Pelosi in the Oval Office of the White House, December 11, 2018, in Washington. Last week, in a one-on-one meeting with the president, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, reportedly warned Mr. Trump that declaring a national emergency to build his wall would nearly certainly spark a rebellion within his party - and a vote to overrule him.

Putting the focus on rising prescription drug prices and what she sees as Trump's failure to live up to his promise to reduce them, Klobuchar has invited Nicole Holt-Smith, the mother of a diabetic who died because he couldn't keep up with the skyrocketing price of insulin. "He may want to go big, one says, but he hasn't shown an ability to do so". He has said the wall, which he initially said Mexico would pay for, is needed to deter illegal immigration and drugs.

Trump suggested last week he might declare an emergency during or shortly after the annual speech to Congress. Such a move would "upend" the balance of powers between the White House and Congress, Republican Senator Susan Collins told reporters on Tuesday. He also will give an update on trade talks with the Chinese. "He will be asking for bipartisan support to make that happen", said White House counsellor Kellyanne Conway.

"I'll come to the House Chamber for the State of the Union when I can hear from a presdient who will tell the truth".

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"He's going to set the stage", the source said.

The source said Trump would discuss troop drawdowns in Syria and Afghanistan and that about half the speech would be devoted to foreign policy.

"The thought of spending Tuesday night in the House Chamber listening to the reckless, self-centered man who occupies the White House holds no interest for me".

Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, a Democrat popular for her progressive-leaning politics, reportedly plans to bring a sexual assault survivor who spoke out during the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, himself accused of sexual assault. That's become even more hard as all the Trump scandals continue to metastasize, with federal prosecutors sending out another flurry of subpoenas this week, this time looking into possible grift and money laundering around Trump's inauguration.

For Trump and his inner circle, the wall has become the dominant policy concern, to the exclusion of almost all else: As an administration official told The New York Times last month, it has become a one-issue White House.

"You're going to continue see the president push for policies that help continue the economic boom", Sanders said Monday night while appearing on "Hannity" on Fox News.

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