Congress is back to work today, but shutdown is still at a standstill

Local News

With Congress back to work today, there will be competing pieces of legislation in the House and Senate to end the shutdown.

Now, in day 32, there are still questions about what President Donald Trump and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will do about the state of the union speech.  

With leaders in Washington barely budging on the shutdown, today, the White House says it isn’t up to President Trump to reach out to Pelosi.  

“She has a standing invitation to come here anytime she wants to come and anytime she wants to talk to the president.”

And today, Senate Republicans are considering the president’s proposal to fully fund his border wall in exchange for temporary protections for some immigrants.  But, Democrats are countering with a border security package that doesn’t include wall funding.

Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says, “We are aghast that he wants this giant 30-foot wall to be the symbol of America.  I tell President Trump, I told him to his face, ‘we want the symbol of America to remain the Statue of Liberty, freedom, equality and not a divisive wall.'”

The state of the union is scheduled to take place in one week, but with no resolution to the shutdown, it is unclear if the speaker will take the extraordinary step of disinviting the president.

Meanwhile, unpaid federal workers continue to struggle financially.  Jon Manley is an air traffic controller in Chattanooga who, because of the shutdown, has started driving for Uber so that he can afford to feed his family.

“Will it replace it the income I’m missing out on? Absolutely not. It doesn’t come anywhere close.”

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