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Government shutdown: Trump says he will do alternative State of the Union address as Pelosi blocks his plans

Trump's disapproval rating reaches record high

Chris Riotta
New York
@chrisriotta,Adam Forrest@adamtomforrest
Wednesday 23 January 2019 22:23
Mike Pence compares Trumps border wall stance to Martin Luther Kings legacy

As the government shutdown approaches day 34, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has blocked Donald Trump's plans for his State of the Union address.

Ms Pelosi said the president will not be allowed to deliver the address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, in spite of his suggestion he would show regardless of whether he was welcome.

The House will not approve a resolution allowing Mr Trump to come until the government reopens, Ms Pelosi said.

Donald Trump responded by saying “we’ll do something in the alternative”, while branding Democrats “radicalized.”

The argument comes shortly after a new poll revealed Donald Trump’s disapproval rating has risen to 57 per cent - the highest recorded by the pollster since his presidency began. The Politico / Morning Consult survey found that a majority of Americans blame the president for the government shutdown.

With thousands of furloughed workers still not receiving pay, tensions are running high over the ongoing closure.

Police were called to a protest by a group of federal government workers at a field office for Senator Mitch McConnell in Kentucky.

The Senate Majority Leader blocked legislation on Wednesday that would reopen most of the government.

Some 800,000 federal workers are set to miss a second pay check this Friday.

Follow events as they happened:


Welcome to The Independent’s coverage of the US government shutdown, which entered its 33rd day on Wednesday.

As the standoff over the funding of Trump’s southern border wall continues, the dispute threatens to disrupt a huge event in the political calendar – the State of the Union address.

Adam Forrest23 January 2019 09:53

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has cited shutdown-related security concerns in urging Trump to delay this year’s State of the Union.

But the White House is planning on pushing forward anyway. Intriguing, administration officials are also believed to be working on plans for an alternative event on 29 January, including a potential rally.

Here’s Clark Mindock with more:

Adam Forrest23 January 2019 10:02

Blueprints for a Moscow Trump Tower in the Russian capital Moscow have been published.

Despite the president’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani firmly denying any plans were ever drawn up, a design scheme for a luxury hotel appeared online Tuesday.

Andrew Buncombe has more of the details:

Adam Forrest23 January 2019 10:31

Rescuers who respond to distressed whales and other marine animals say the shutdown is making their work more difficult.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – one of the many shuttered federal agencies – operates a hotline for mariners who find distressed whales and provides the permits that allow rescue groups to respond to emergencies.

Adam Forrest23 January 2019 10:48

Could this week see the beginning of the end of the government shutdown? Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has set up two showdown votes for Thursday.

One vote will be on the Republican leader’s own measure, which reflects Mr Trump’s offer to the Democrats trade border wall funding for temporary protections for some immigrants.

The second vote is set for a bill approved by the Democratic-controlled House which would reopen the government through 8 February, with no wall money, to give negotiators time to talk.

Adam Forrest23 January 2019 10:54

Strange days indeed. Admiral Karl Schultz of the US Coast Guard says members of the Armed Forces “should not be expected to shoulder the burden” of the shutdown.

The admiral says it’s “unacceptable” that coast guard employees are relying on food hand-outs and advises his personnel how to get emergency assistance.

Adam Forrest23 January 2019 11:14

Some colleges are offering students affected by the shutdown temporary relief from tuition payments. The College of Southern Maryland is one of those trying to lift the burden on furloughed students – and students who are dependents of furloughed workers.

Adam Forrest23 January 2019 11:26

The White House might be preparing plans for a Trump speech and public gathering as an alternative to the State of the Union, but Trump supporters are not the only ones holding rallies. Republican politicians are facing angry voters at town hall meetings, and pundits believe demonstrations could grow this week.

Adam Forrest23 January 2019 12:12

Trump claims to be “proud” of the government shutdown, but it appears to be harming his poll numbers.

His disapproval rating has climbed to an all-time high of 57 per cent in the latest Politico / Morning Consult poll.

While 35 per cent of voters blame the Democrats for the standoff, a higher proportion of voters – 46 per cent – blame Trump. That’s a six point rise in voters blaming the president since the shutdown began.

Adam Forrest23 January 2019 12:27

More fresh poll data. A new CBS News survey shows two thirds of voters – 66 per cent – agree with the Democrats’ position and want an agreed end to the shutdown without an agreement over border wall funding.

Only 31 per cent agree with Trump’s position and want him to refuse to re-start the government unless wall funding is in place. And Nancy Pelosi is viewed as doing a better job than Trump, according to the poll.

Adam Forrest23 January 2019 12:37

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