Trump cancels Pelosi's trip as an "appropriate" measure because of the shutdown

  • EFE

After almost 30 days of the shutdown, the State Department will put its diplomats to work this Sunday, January 20, because it has found funds to pay them a salary and avoid the lack of funding caused by the administrative partial closure.

A spokeswoman told EFE, "all" employees of the Department of State will return to work this Sunday, January 20, when the next 15 days cycle of payroll begins, so they can receive the salary of half a month.

The spokeswoman explained that the State Department has made a "review of possible options" and is "taking steps" to allocate some funds to pay employees so they can return to their jobs.

The closure caused by the refusal of Donald Trump to sign the public budget maintains almost one million workers without payment since 22 of September 2018, which has generated considerable failures in various services and establishments such as national parks, airports, and offices of the public administration.

The exact number of civil servants who are not working due to administrative shutdown has changed depending on the week, but currently, 23% of foreign employees of the Government still do not receive a salary.

In addition, 40% of the employees of the Department of State that work within the country are without pay. To that figure, there is an undetermined number of subcontracted workers who do not charge since the closure of the Government.

After the Shutdown consequences, the Democratic caucus of the Lower Chamber has tried to meet with Trump to end this closure, however, they have not had an answer because they do not want to explicitly and clearly include the construction of the border wall, the president's dream, and electoral promise.

Nancy Pelosi, president of the House of Representatives, has been one of the affected in this lack of communication and an agreement between the parties when last Tuesday she received the news of the cancellation of a trip abroad. This measure was taken arbitrarily by the president of the United States, Donald Trump. 

Trump communicated his decision to Pelosi in a letter, which comes just a day after the Democrat asked in a letter to the governor to postpone until the Government reopens the traditional speech on the State of the Union, scheduled for January 29.

"Due to the closure, I am sorry to inform you that your trip to Brussels, Egypt, and Afghanistan has been postponed," said the president, who invited Pelosi to "reschedule her seven-day trip by the end of the closure."

If Pelosi wants to travel, Trump said, then the Democrat has the "prerogative" to "fly on a commercial airline" to the countries she planned to visit. The Democratic leader planned to use a military plane for her official trip abroad, as is usual in this type of visits.

However, as president, Trump has the authority to order the Department of Defense not to use its funds to facilitate travel of congressional delegations. Trump made his letter public only 45 minutes before the departure of Pelosi's plane, whose departure time was 3:00 pm ET, according to Fox television.

In a statement, Drew Hammill, one of Pelosi's spokesmen, assured that the purpose of the trip was to "express gratitude" to the US troops deployed abroad and reminded that Trump had traveled by surprise to Iraq on December 26, just after the administrative closure began.

In addition, Hammill corrected the route that Trump had outlined and said that Pelosi had not planned to travel to Egypt and that she was only going to make a short stop in Brussels to meet with NATO commanders, a military alliance that has been harshly criticized by the president.

In his letter, Trump mentions that 800,000 officials are not receiving their salaries due to lack of budgets and, in view of that problem, he tells Pelosi: "I'm sure you'll agree to postpone this public relations event (in reference to the trip) is totally appropriate."

"Also," adds Trump, "I believe that, during this period, it would be better if you were in Washington negotiating with me and joining the movement for stronger border security to end the closure."

The president says goodbye to Pelosi saying that he is "looking forward to seeing her soon" and wishes "much more" to see how the "dangerous" border with Mexico "receives the attention, funding, and security it desperately needs."


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