House OKs bill to reopen USA gov’t through February 8

US President Donald Trump speaks alongside fast food he purchased for a ceremony honoring the 2018 College Football Playoff National Champions

Just 2 percent hold Republicans in Congress responsible for the shutdown that began December 22, although 29 percent blame Trump as well as both parties for the impasse over border wall funding sought by the president but opposed by Democrats.

The mess in the USA capital already verged on the surreal as Congress feuds with the White House over how to end an impasse now in its fourth week, with thousands of federal workers left unpaid.

The House has passed a Democratic measure to reopen the government through February 8 and provide $14 billion in emergency spending for recent hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disasters.

Opinions on both Trump and his officials are split deeply along party lines: Fifty-eight percent of Republicans say they trust Trump more than previous presidents, while only 2 percent of Democrats say the same. McConnell, instead of focusing on ending the shutdown, has prioritised passing an anti-abortion bill to end tax payer-funded abortions which would inadvertently affect women from the lower income groups. "The president will have to break her power in order to win".

Rubbing it in, Trump said that Pelosi could still book her own non-government flights.

"I have written two books about Trump", he said.

As the longest government shutdown in history continues, negotiations have moved from a serious policy discussion, to political hardball and now to a game of throwing hand grenades.

Trump declined to address the conflict during a visit Thursday to the Pentagon, saying only that he's determined to ensure the USA has "powerful, strong border security".

The president's planned January 29 address became a potential casualty of the four-week partial government shutdown after the Democratic leader cited concerns about whether the hobbled government can provide adequate security. Democrats say they won't give him any wall funds but have been willing to provide $1.3 billion for other types of border security, like technology and some physical barriers. At the White House, Trump met a bipartisan group of lawmakers, as well as a group of Republican senators, but progress appeared elusive.

Few see a wall as an effective way to combat undocumented immigration.

On Thursday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders posted President Donald Trump's letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) claiming that due to the government shutdown, her planned trip overseas will be canceled.

In an attempt to pressure Congress, Trump has refused to authorize funding for swaths of the government, leaving some 800,000 federal employees and many more government contractors without pay for almost a month.

"That work must go on and I think it's vitally important now, in particular that the president has announced withdrawals from Syria and Afghanistan, that we understand the situation on the ground". On Thursday, the State Department said it was calling furloughed employees back to work.

US President Donald Trump signed the Government Employee Fair Treatment Act on Wednesday to compensate federal employees who have not received any pay as a result of the current government shutdown.

The president, for his part, fired back minutes later during a missile-defense speech at the Pentagon as he alleged the Democrats have been "hijacked" by the fringe and Pelosi is holding up talks.

Campaign aides publicly insist that Trump's demand for $5.7 billion to build a southern border wall is a victor - despite public polling to the contrary.

The U.S. Constitution says the president "shall from time to time" deliver a state of the union address to Congress. "Because if you do it now, they'll shut down the government next year for something else.' I share that sentiment". When conservative opinion-shapers, including Ann Coulter, began criticizing the president's pre-shutdown signals that he would sign a stopgap spending measure devoid of wall funding, he nixed it.

Trump's 2020 campaign manager, Brad Parscale, has said several times that the campaign's proprietary data show that the shutdown is a winning issue for the president.

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