Other cities have done it, and now, if a bill passes, three in Washington state could be next.
Sponsored by state Sen. Hans Zeiger, Senate Bill 5261 would create a three-year, three-city pilot program that would provide homeless adults with jobs on community "beautification and cleanup projects" – such as picking up trash and pulling weeds in parks.
Two pilot cities would be in western Washington, and one would be on the east side of the state.
The idea is not new.
Fort Worth, Texas, has a Clean Slate program in which the homeless are paid to pick up trash.
San Jose, California, announced a similar program late last year.
The bill report says other cities with such programs include Albuquerque, Boise, Denver, Dallas, Omaha and Anaheim. Job duties such as laying sod, tidying up grounds at local dumps and picking up trash were given as examples.
In Zeiger's program, workers would be paid at least the state minimum wage – $12 an hour – and be referred to housing providers and other services to help get them off the street.
The pilot would expire in July 2022.
The pilot cities would then be required to submit a report to the state legislature on how many people were hired during the pilot and how many were connected with services – as well as strategies for hiring homeless people.
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Washington state has a homeless population of more than 21,000.
Three weeks after giving birth to Gaston County's first baby of 2019, a woman is accused of using the same vehicle to sell drugs.
Jessica Killian, 32, was arrested Tuesday morning at the Econo Lodge on Broadcast Street with 36 grams of meth that police believe she planned to sell, according to the Gaston Gazette.
Police said she had baggies and scales inside her 2011 Chevrolet Cruze, which she not only used to run her drug operation, but to give birth to her son, Atom Bomb.
Killian delivered Atom Bomb in the front of her car New Year’s Day on the side of Interstate 85 near Kings Mountain with the help of her boyfriend.
Just three weeks after giving birth, Killian was charged with felony counts of trafficking in methamphetamine, possession with the intent to manufacture, sell and deliver methamphetamine and maintaining a vehicle for a controlled substance and a misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.
She also has pending drug charges from December for possessing and manufacturing drugs.
It's not clear who has custody of her newborn baby.
General Mills has issued a recall for 5-pound bags of Gold Medal Unbleached Flour over fears of potential salmonella contamination.
The possible presence of the bacteria was discovered during sampling of the 5-pound bags, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
The recall only affects the one flour product and is focused on bags with the “better if used by date” of April 20, 2020.
“Food safety is our top priority, and though we have not had any confirmed illnesses, we are voluntarily recalling this specific lot of Gold Medal Unbleached Flour to prevent potential illnesses," the president of General Mills’ Meals and Baking Division, Jim Murphy, said in a statement.
"This recall does not involve any other flour products, and we are continuing to educate consumers that flour is not a 'ready to eat' ingredient. Anything you make with flour must be cooked or baked before eating," Murphy said.
Salmonella can cause fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare cases, it can cause more severe illnesses, according to the FDA.
The partial government shutdown that began Dec. 22 is still underway with no end in sight as a stalemate between President Donald Trump and congressional leaders over his demand for more than $5 billion to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border continues.
The president proposed a plan over the weekend to trade protections against deportation for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants in exchange for the money to build the wall, though Democrats called the proposal a “non-starter.”
Update 11:15 p.m. EST Jan. 23: Late Wednesday evening, President Donald Trump indicated that he would give the State of the Union after partial government shutdown ends:“As the Shutdown was going on, Nancy Pelosi asked me to give the State of the Union Address. I agreed. She then changed her mind because of the Shutdown, suggesting a later date. This is her prerogative - I will do the Address when the Shutdown is over. I am not looking for an alternative venue for the SOTU Address because there is no venue that can compete with the history, tradition and importance of the House Chamber. I look forward to giving a “great” State of the Union Address in the near future!”
Moments following the president’s tweet, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi replied asking for support of a House-passed package expected in the Senate on Thursday:“Mr. President, I hope by saying “near future” you mean you will support the House-passed package to #EndTheShutdown that the Senate will vote on tomorrow. Please accept this proposal so we can re-open government, repay our federal workers and then negotiate our differences.”
Update 4 p.m. EST Jan. 23: After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the U.S. House of Representatives would not consider a resolution to allow him to hold his State of the Union address in the House Chamber amid the shutdown, Trump accused her of being “afraid of the truth.”
“We just found out that she's cancelled it and I think that's a great blotch on the incredible country that we all love,” the president told reporters Wednesday. “She doesn't want the American public to hear what's going on and she's afraid of the truth.”
Update 2:45 p.m. EST Jan. 23: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday in a letter to Trump that the U.S. House of Representatives will not consider a resolution authorizing him to make his State of the Union address in the House Chamber until after the government shutdown ends.
"When I extended an invitation on January 3rd for you to deliver the State of the Union address, it was on the mutually agreed upon date, January 29th," Pelosi wrote. "At that time, there was no thought that the government would still be shut down."
Trump told reporters at the White House that he was “not surprised” by Pelosi’s reaction.
“It’s really a shame, what’s happening with the Democrats,” Trump said.
Update 12:35 p.m. EST Jan. 23: Trump said Wednesday that he plans to deliver his State of the Union address as planned on Jan. 29, despite a request from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to reschedule the speech as the partial government shutdown continues.
Pelosi had invited Trump to deliver the State of the Union in the U.S. House of Representatives on Jan. 3, but in a letter sent two weeks later, she rescinded the invitation, citing security concerns.
Trump said he was contacted by the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Secret Service prior to Pelosi's letter and that both agencies have reassured him that "there would be absolutely no problem regarding security with respect to the event."
"Accordingly, there are no security concerns regard the State of the Union Address," Trump said. "Therefore, I will be honoring your invitation, and fulfilling my constitutional duty, to deliver important information to the people and Congress of the United State of america regarding the State of our Union."
Update 7:00 p.m. EST Jan. 22: Virginia Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va) has introduced a measure in the Senate to prevent future government shutdowns.
It’s called the Stop Stupidity (Shutdowns Transferring Unnecessary Pain and Inflicting Damage In The Coming Years) Act. It would automatically renew the previous year’s funding, guaranteeing the government would remain open if lawmakers don’t agree on a budget, but it doesn’t include the legislative or executive branches of government.
Warner said in a press release that the measure would “protect federal government workers from being used as pawns in policy negotiations,” according to The Hill.
“It is disturbing that the daily lives of hundreds of thousands of workers are at the mercy of dysfunction in Washington,” he said.
“Workers, business owners and tax payers are currently paying the price of D.C. gridlock and my legislation will put an end to that.”
The shutdown is affecting some 800,000 government workers.
Update 1:45 p.m. EST Jan. 22: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Tuesday that he expects a vote on Trump’s immigration proposal Thursday. However, it remained unclear whether the proposal would win approval as the shutdown dragged on into its 32nd day.
Democrats have passed several bills in the House aimed at funding the government, though McConnell has declined to hold votes for the measures, citing the president’s unwillingness to sign any budget that excludes money for the wall.
The Senate last voted on a government funding bill on Dec. 19, according to Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree.
Update 11:30 a.m. EST Jan. 21: The partial government shutdown entered its 31st day Monday.
Democrats and Republicans took first steps over the weekend toward reaching a compromise in the ongoing budget battle, however, it remained unclear Monday whether negotiations would prove fruitful.
Trump on Sunday pressed Democrats to accept a deal he offered Saturday, which would give temporary protections to some immigrants in the United States in exchange for $5.7 billion to fund the border wall. The president also pushed back against critics who accused him of offering amnesty for immigrants who came into the U.S. illegally.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans to hold a vote on the president's plan as soon as Tuesday, according to Bloomberg.
Update 5 p.m. EST Jan. 19: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he plans Senate action this week on President Donald Trump’s proposal to end the partial government shutdown.
Democrats, who control the House, said they find the president’s offer unacceptable.
The plan faces an uphill path in the Senate and virtually no chance of survival in the Democratic-controlled House, according to The Associated Press.
Update 3 p.m. EST Jan. 19: President Donald Trump announced a proposal for Democrats in a televised speech Saturday afternoon to end the the 29-day partial government shutdown.
In his speech, he said he wants to trade temporary protections against deportation for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants for money to build his wall.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi described Trump’s proposal as a “nonstarter” moments before for the announcement.
Democrats want the protections to be permanent and want him to reopen government before negotiating on border security.
Update 6 p.m. EST Jan. 18: President Donald Trump said in a tweet that he will make a major announcement on the government shutdown and the southern border on Saturday afternoon from the White House.
Saturday will mark the 28th day of the partial government shutdown, the longest in US history.
Update 2:10 p.m. EST Jan. 18: The Office of Management and Budget released a memo Friday barring Congressional delegations from using aircraft paid for with taxpayer money amid the ongoing shutdown.
The memo, from Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget Russ Vought, was released one day after Trump abruptly pulled military air support for a planned Congressional delegation that included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“Under no circumstances during a government shutdown will any government owned, rented, leased, or chartered aircraft support any Congressional delegation, without the express written approval of the White House Chief of Staff,” Vought said in the memo. “Nor will any funds be appropriated to the Executive Branch be used for any Congressional delegation travel expenses without his express written approval.”
Pelosi told reporters Friday that lawmakers had planned to continue their planned trip to Afghanistan after it was scrapped by Trump’s announcement.
"We had the prerogative to travel commercially and we made plans to do that until the administration then leaked that we were traveling commercially and that endangers us,” she said.
Update 11:50 a.m. EST Jan. 18: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday she canceled plans to travel to Afghanistan after Trump pulled military travel support for the trip one day earlier and shared that she planned to visit a war zone.
Drew Hammill, a spokesman for Pelosi, said Thursday that the House speaker planned to travel with a Congressional delegation to Belgium and then Afghanistan to visit troops on the front lines. Trump pulled military air support for the trip one day after Pelosi asked him to postponed his State of the Union address, scheduled to take place on Jan. 29, in light of the ongoing shutdown. The president also cited the shutdown and suggested that lawmakers could make the trip on a commercial airline.
Hammill said Friday that Pelosi and the rest of the delegation were prepared to fly commercially but he said the plan was axed after the Trump administration “leaked the commercial travel plans.”
“In light of the grave threats caused by the President’s action, the delegation has decided to postpone the trip so as not to further endanger our troops and security personnel, or the other travelers on the flights,” Hammill said.
Update 10:35 p.m. EST Jan. 17: President Donald Trump has canceled the U.S. delegation’s trip later this month to an economic forum in Davos, Switzerland.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that out of consideration for the 800,000 federal workers not getting paid, the president has nixed his delegation’s trip to the World Economic Forum. Trump had earlier pulled out of attending the forum because of the shutdown.
Update 3:55 p.m. EST Jan. 17: An overseas trip that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was set leave for on Thursday, before Trump abruptly announced he had pulled military travel support for the trip, was intended to show appreciation for American troops abroad, Pelosi’s spokesman said.
In a letter sent Thursday to Pelosi’s office, the president said a Congressional Delegation, or CODEL, that Pelosi had planned was canceled amid the ongoing government shutdown. Trump said the CODEL intended to make stops in Brussels, Egypt and Afghanistan.
Drew Hammill, a spokesman for Pelosi, said the speaker planned to stop in Brussels, as required to give the pilot time to rest, and meet with top NATO commanders before continuing on to Afghanistan. He said the trip did not include any stops in Egypt.
“The purpose of the trip was to express appreciation and thanks to our men and women in uniform for their service and dedication, and to obtain critical national security briefings from those front lines,” Hammill said. “The president traveled to Iraq during the Trump Shutdown as did a Republican CODEL (Congressional Deligation) led by Rep. (Lee) Zeldin.”
Update 2:55 p.m. EST Jan. 17: Trump on Thursday pulled military travel support for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ahead of a planned trip to Brussels, Egypt and Afghanistan, according to Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree.
Pelosi had planned to leave for a bipartisan Congressional Delegation trip, also known as a CODEL, later Thursday, CNN reported.
According to the news network, Trump has “the authority to direct the Department of Defense to not use military assets to support a congressional delegation to military theaters.”
However, CNN noted that it was not immediately clear whether the Defense Department was notified of the cancellation ahead of time.
The cancellation came one day after Pelosi asked Trump to postpone his planned State of the Union address in light of the shutdown.
Update 2:25 p.m. EST Jan. 17: Trump said Thursday that he's postponing a trip planned by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for Brussels, Egypt and Afghanistan amid the ongoing partial government shutdown.
"It would be better if you were in Washington negotiating with me and joining the Strong Border Security movement to end the Shutdown," the president said. "Obviously, if you would like to make your journey by flying commercial, that would certainly be your prerogative."
Trump addressed the letter to Pelosi’s office one day after she asked him to postpone his planned State of the Union address in light of the shutdown.
The House, which is controlled by Democrats, has passed several bills to re-open government agencies closed by the partial government shutdown, according to Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupree.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated earlier this month that he would not bring funding bills passed by the House before the Senate, as the president has signaled several times that he would not sign a spending bill that failed to fund his border wall.
Update 1:35 p.m. EST Jan. 17: The State Department ordered U.S. diplomats in Washington and at embassies around the world to return to work starting next week, saying in a message to employees that they will be paid despite the shutdown.
It was not immediately clear where the money was found, but the department said it had taken steps to "make available additional funds to pay the salaries of its employees, including those affected by the current lapse."
“Employees will be paid for work performed beginning on or after January 20,” the notice, from Deputy Under Secretary for Management Bill Todd, said. “Beyond (that pay period), we will review balances and available legal authorities to try to cover future pay periods.”
Officials noted that employees would not be paid for work done between Dec. 22, when the partial government shutdown started, and Jan. 20 until after the shutdown ends.
Department officials said they were taking the step because it had become clear that the lapse in funding is harming efforts "to address the myriad critical issues requiring U.S. leadership around the globe and to fulfill our commitments to the American people."
Officials added that the department's leadership was "deeply concerned" about the financial hardships employees are facing.
Update 12:45 p.m. EST Jan. 17: Trump signed a bill Wednesday that requires the government to compensate federal workers affected by the ongoing shutdown for wages lost, work performed or leave used during the shutdown.
The Government Employee Fair Treatment Act of 2019 passed in the House last week. It requires that employees be compensated “on the earliest date possible after the lapse ends, regardless of scheduled pay dates.”
Update 2:35 p.m. EST Jan. 16: Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Wednesday that despite the partial government shutdown, federal officials are prepared to deal with issues that might arise when Trump delivers his State of the Union address later this month.
“The Department of Homeland Security and the US Secret Service are fully prepared to support and secure the State of the Union,” Nielsen said in a statement posted on Twitter.
Her comments came after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked the president to delay the address, scheduled January 29, due to security concerns as the shutdown dragged into its 26th day.
Update 10:25 a.m. EST Jan. 16: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday asked Trump to delay his State of the Union address, which is expected later this month, as the partial government shutdown continues.
“Given the security concerns and unless government re-opens this week, I suggest that we work together to determine another suitable date after government has re-opened for this address or for you to consider delivering your State of the Union address in writing to the Congress on January 29th,” Pelosi said in a letter sent Wednesday.
Update 1:41 p.m. EST Jan. 15: A federal judge has denied a request from unionized federal employees who filed a lawsuit requiring the government pay air traffic controllers who are working without pay during the shutdown, CNN reported.
Update 1:45 p.m. EST Jan. 14: A group of federal employees who was ordered to work without pay amid the ongoing shutdown filed suit last week against the government, comparing their situations to involuntary servitude and accusing Trump and other officials of violating the 13th Amendment, according to The Washington Post.
In the lawsuit, filed Wednesday by four federal workers from Texas and West Virginia who are employed by the departments of Justice, Agriculture and Transportation, attorneys said the workers could face discipline or removal if they failed to continue working despite the fact that they were not getting paid during the shutdown. The Post reported the lawsuit also accused officials of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act.
“Our plaintiffs find themselves in the exact same boat as virtually every other furloughed federal employee: bills to pay and no income to pay them,” the workers' attorney, Michael Kator, told the Post. “As this drags on, their situation will become more and more dire.”
The partial government shutdown entered its 24th day Monday, making it the longest in history. The second-longest government shutdown lasted 21 days in the mid-90s, during President Bill Clinton's time in office.
Update 9:05 a.m. EST Jan. 14: Trump railed against Democrats on Monday morning as the partial government shutdown entered its 24th day.
"I've been waiting all weekend," Trump wrote Monday in a tweet. "Democrats must get to work now. Border must be secured!"
The House, which is controlled by Democrats, has passed six bills to re-open government agencies closed by the partial government shutdown, according to Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupree.
Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated earlier this month that he would not bring funding bills passed by the House before the Senate, as the president has signaled several times that he would not sign a spending bill that failed to fund his border wall.
"The package presented yesterday by Democratic leaders can only be seen as a time wasting act," he said on Jan. 3.
Update 3:15 p.m. EST Jan. 11: Trump said Friday that it would be easy for him to declare a national emergency to get a wall along the country’s southern border built, but that he has no plans to do so.
“I’m not going to do it so fast,” the president said during a discussion about border security with state, local and community leaders at the White House. “This is something that Congress can do.”
Some 800,000 workers, more than half of them still on the job, will miss their first paycheck on Friday, and Washington is close to setting a dubious record for the longest government shutdown in U.S. history.
Update 1:25 p.m. EST Jan. 10: Trump said Thursday he will not travel later this month to Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum amid the ongoing partial government shutdown.
The president was scheduled to leave for the trip Jan. 21.
“Because of the Democrats intransigence on Border Security and the great importance of Safety for our Nation, I am respectfully cancelling my very important trip to Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum,” Trump wrote Thursday afternoon on Twitter. “My warmest regards and apologies to the @WEF!”
Last year, a brief government shutdown threatened to derail his trip to Davos, where he asserted that his "America First" agenda can go hand-in-hand with global cooperation.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is leading the U.S. delegation to the annual Davos event, which courts high-profile businesspeople and political figures and other elites. Other members of the Cabinet are scheduled to attend as well as Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
Update 9:05 a.m. EST Jan. 10: Trump will travel Thursday to Texas to visit the southern border after negotiations to end the partial government shut down crumbled.
The president walked out of discussions Wednesday with Congressional leaders after Democrats again refused to approve of $5.7 billion of funding for his border wall.
“The Opposition Party & the Dems know we must have Strong Border Security, but don’t want to give ‘Trump’ another one of many wins!” Trump wrote Thursday on Twitter.
The president is set to travel to McAllen on Thursday, where he plans to visit a border patrol station for a roundtable on immigration and border security.
Update 3:40 p.m. EST Jan. 9: The president walked out of discussions with leaders in the House and Senate on Wednesday amid the ongoing government shutdown.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said the president asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi whether she would agree to fund his border wall and that he walked out of the meeting when she answered in the negative.
“He said, ‘If I open up the government, you won’t do what I want,’” Schumer said.
The president wrote on Twitter that the meeting was “a total waste of time.”
“I asked what is going to happen in 30 days if I quickly open things up, are you going to approve Border Security which includes a Wall or Steel Barrier?” he wrote. “Nancy said, NO. I said bye-bye, nothing else works!”
Update 2:35 p.m. EST Jan. 9: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Republicans are standing beside the president Wednesday as the debate over border wall funding continues.
Trump and Vice President Mike Pence met with Senate Republicans for their party lunch Wednesday afternoon.
“The Republicans are unified,” Trump told reporters after the meeting. “We want border security. We want safety for our country.”
The president accused Democrats of blocking funding for the wall, “because I won the presidency and they think they can try and hurt us.” Democrats have called the proposed wall costly, ineffective and "immoral" and say Trump's "manufacturing a crisis."
Trump and Pence are scheduled to meet at 3 p.m. with House and Senate leaders from both parties at the White House.
Update 1:30 p.m. EST Jan. 9: Trump said Wednesday that his border wall has "tremendous Republican support” ahead of a meeting with GOP lawmakers as the shutdown drags into its 19th day.
"I think we're going to win,” Trump said. “We need border security, very simple.”
In response to a reporter’s question about how long the president would be willing to let the shutdown last in order to secure funding for the wall, Trump said, “whatever it takes.”
Update 12:50 p.m. EST Jan. 9: During a bill signing at the White House on Wednesday, the president pushed again for funding of his border wall, arguing that human trafficking can’t be stopped without it.
"As long as we have a border that is not secure, we're going to suffer the consequences of that," Trump said.
The president brushed off critics who have said a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border would be ineffective to address immigration issues.
“They say a wall is a medieval solution, that’s true,” Trump said. “It worked then, it works even better now”
Democrats have called Trump's promised wall costly, ineffective and "immoral" and say he's "manufacturing a crisis."
The bill Trump signed is designed to enhance an annual State Department report that measures global efforts to eliminate human trafficking.
Update 10:35 a.m. EST Jan. 9: Officials will hold a series of meetings Wednesday in an attempt to end the government shutdown that began 19 days ago, according to Politico.
The president, Vice President Mike Pence and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen will meet Wednesday afternoon with Senate Republicans for their party lunch, the news site reported. Then, at 3 p.m., the president will meet with House and Senate leaders from both parties at the White House, Poliltico reported, noting it will mark “the third such bipartisan meeting in a week’s time.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Wednesday morning that Trump is still considering the possibility of declaring a national emergency to get the wall built.
"(It's) something we're still looking at, something that's certainly still on the table," she said, according to Bloomberg News. "The best solution is to be able to work with Congress to get this done."
The president did not mention the possibility of declaring a national emergency to get the wall built Tuesday night, during his first address from the Oval Office. He wrote Wednesday morning on Twitter, “we MUST fix our Southern Border!”
Trump is scheduled to visit the border Thursday.
Update 10:50 p.m. EST Jan. 8: In his first ever televised Oval Office address, President Donald Trump urged congressional Democrats to fund his border wall Tuesday night, blaming illegal immigration for the scourge of drugs and violence in the U.S.
Democrats in response accused Trump appealing to “fear, not facts” and manufacturing a border crisis for political gain.
He argued for spending some $5.7 billion for a border wall on both security and humanitarian grounds as he sought to put pressure on newly empowered Democrats amid the extended shutdown.
He will visit the Mexican border in person on Thursday.
Update 8:07 p.m. EST Jan. 8: The New York Times is reporting that Trump will not declare a national emergency this evening in order to circumvent Congress to get funds to build the wall. According to the times, “administration officials who had seen a draft copy of his speech said the president was not preparing to do so.”
Update 10:45 a.m. EST Jan. 8: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer will deliver the Democratic response to Trump's planned prime time address, according to Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupree.
Update 1:50 p.m. EST Jan. 7: Trump said he plans to address the nation Tuesday night as Democrats continue to stand firm on their refusal to fund the president’s border wall.
“I am pleased to inform you that I will Address the Nation on the Humanitarian and National Security crisis on our Southern Border Tuesday night at 9 P.M. Eastern,” Trump said Monday afternoon in a tweet.
The announcement came after White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump plans to visit the southern border on Thursday.
Update 1:40 p.m. EST Jan. 7: Trump on Thursday will visit the southern border amid the ongoing shutdown impasse, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.
Update 9:10 a.m. EST Jan. 7: The partial government shutdown entered its 17th day Monday with no end in sight despite meetings over the weekend meant to help bring the shutdown to a close, according to Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree.
Update 3:30 p.m. EST Jan. 4: Trump said Friday that he’s considering using his executive authority to get a wall built on the U.S.-Mexico border.
“We can call a national emergency because of the security of our country, absolutely,” Trump said. “I haven’t done it. I may do it.”
The president spoke with reporters Friday after meeting with congressional leaders amid the ongoing budget impasse. He said he’s designated a team to meet over the weekend with lawmakers to resolve the standoff.
Update 2:40 p.m. EST Jan. 4: At a news conference Friday, Trump confirmed he told congressional leaders that he would be willing to allow the government shut down to continue for months or years if Democrats refuse to fund his border wall.
“I don’t think (the government will remain closed that long) but I am prepared,” Trump said. “I hope it doesn’t go on even beyond a few more days.”
Trump met with top leaders from the House and Senate on Friday morning to discuss the ongoing partial government shutdown and his demand for $5.6 billion to fund a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The president said Friday’s meeting was “very, very productive,” though top Democrats told reporters after the meeting that little was accomplished.
“How do you define progress in a meeting?” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked reporters after the meeting. “When you have a better understanding of each other’s position? When you eliminate some possibilities? If that’s the judgement, we made some progress.”
Update 1:40 p.m. EST Jan. 4: Top Democrats said a meeting with Trump aimed at bringing the ongoing partial government shutdown to an end was contentious on Friday, with neither side willing to budge in the ongoing battle over funding for a border wall.
“We told the president we needed the government open," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters after the meeting. "He resisted. In fact, he said he'd keep the government closed for a very long period of time -- months or even years."
Update 9:20 a.m. EST Jan. 4: Trump is set to meet Friday morning with congressional leaders, though it was not clear whether the meeting would help bring to an end the partial government shutdown that began nearly two weeks ago.
The meeting, scheduled to take place at 11:30 a.m., will include newly sworn House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top leaders from the House and Senate, NPR reported.
House Democrats approved of a spending bill Thursday to re-open the government, prompting a veto threat from Trump.
“If either H.R. 21 or H.J. Res. 1 were presented to the President, his advisors would recommend that he veto the bill,” the White House said in a veto threat against the plans passed by House Democrats in the opening hours of the 116th Congress, according to Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree.
Update 11:45 p.m. EST Jan. 3: House Democrats have approved a plan to re-open the government without funding President Donald Trump’s promised border wall.
The largely party-line votes by the new Democratic majority came after Trump made a surprise appearance at the White House briefing room to pledge a continued fight for his signature campaign promise.
The Democratic package to end the shutdown includes a bill to temporarily fund the Department of Homeland Security at current levels through Feb. 8 as bipartisan talks continue.
It was approved, 239-192.
Update 11:15 p.m. EST Jan. 2: President Donald Trump said he remains “ready and willing” to work with Democrats to pass a government spending bill even as he refuses to budge over funding for his long-promised border wall.
Trump tweeted “Let’s get it done!” as the partial government shutdown continues with no end in sight.
Trump has invited the group back for a follow-up session Friday, the day after Nancy Pelosi is expected to become speaker of the House.
Earlier, they met Trump at the White House Wednesday for a briefing on border security.
The session did not yield any breakthroughs according to The Associated Press, and Democrats said they remained committed to introducing the legislation Thursday. The administration has so far rejected the plan, which does not include funding to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Schumer said Trump could not provide a “good answer” for opposing the bills. He added that Trump and Republicans “are now feeling the heat.”
Update 9:30 a.m. EST Jan. 2: Congressional leaders are expected to attend a briefing on border security Wednesday at the White House as the partial government shutdown continues, The Associated Press reported.
Among the lawmakers expected to attend the meeting are Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, according to the AP. Top incoming House Republicans, Kevin McCarthy of California and Steve Scalise of Louisiana, are also expected to attend.
The meeting is scheduled to take place at 3 p.m., The Wall Street Journal reported.
The newspaper noted that few, if any, compromises are likely to be offered at the session, which comes one day before Democrats take control of the House of Representatives.
Update 5 p.m. EST Jan. 1: Trump has invited congressional leaders to a border security briefing scheduled for Wednesday. The Associated Press reported the top two Democrats and Republicans from both the House and Senate have been invited. Other possible attendees and agenda have not been released.
The White House has not commented on the apparent invitations, the AP reported.
Update 12:35 p.m. EST Dec. 28: Trump threatened Friday to close the southern U.S. border if Democrats continued to refuse to fund his border wall.
“We build a Wall or we close the Southern Border,” he said in a series of tweets Friday morning.
Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told Fox News on Friday that Trump had canceled his plans for New Year’s Eve in light of the ongoing shutdown. Still, Drew Hammill, spokesman for House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, told The Associated Press on Friday that Democrats won’t fund the president’s “immoral, ineffective expensive wall.”
“While we await the President’s public proposal, Democrats have made it clear that, under a House Democratic Majority, we will vote swiftly to re-open government on Day One,” Hammill said.
Update 3:15 p.m. EST Dec. 27: The partial government shutdown that started Saturday is expected to last into the new year.
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise said in a statement obtained Thursday by C-SPAN that no votes were expected in the U.S. House of Representatives this week as the shutdown continues.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll released Thursday showed 47 percent of Americans hold Trump responsible for the partial government shutdown, despite the president’s assertion that Democrats are at fault.
The poll found 33 percent of adults blame Democrats in Congress.
In a pair of tweet Thursday, the president accused Democrats of “obstruction of the needed Wall.”
Update: 3:35 p.m. EST Dec. 25: President Trump spoke to members of the five branches of the U.S. military via video conference Tuesday, sending them his well-wishes before discussing the partial government shutdown and the country's need for a wall:“I can tell you it's not going to be open until we have a wall, a fence, whatever they would like to call it."
Update 3:50 p.m. EST Dec. 23: Incoming chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said on “Fox News Sunday” that the shutdown could continue into the next year.
“It is very possible that the shutdown will go beyond the 28th and into the new Congress,” Mulvaney said.
Update 3:55 p.m. EST Dec. 22: The Senate does not estimate a vote on a deal to end the partial government shutdown until next Thursday at the earliest, tweeted Jamie Dupree, Cox Media Group Washington correspondent.
The Senate Cloakroom, a Twitter account for the Republican side of the Senate floor, tweeted the following schedule for the Senate: “Following today’s session, the Senate will convene on Monday, December 24th at 11:00 am for a Pro Forma Session. Following the Pro Forma Session, we will next convene at 4:00 pm on Thursday, December 27th and consider business if a deal has been reached on government funding”
President Trump has been active on Twitter today, saying he’s in the White House today “working hard,” and reaffirming his support for tough border security.
“I won an election, said to be one of the greatest of all time, based on getting out of endless & costly foreign wars & also based on Strong Borders which will keep our Country safe. We fight for the borders of other countries, but we won’t fight for the borders of our own!” the President tweeted.
Update 3:00 p.m. EST Dec. 22: White House officials are warning that the government shutdown will last through the holidays, as Trump is not relenting on his demand, tweeted New York Times White House correspondent Katie Rogers. "We have continued to put forth what we think is an important expectation ... which is $5 billion in border security," a senior White House official told reporters, according to Rogers’ tweet.
Update 12:30 p.m. EST Dec. 22: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave an update on government funding negotiations. He said a procedural agreement was made to “create space” to allow discussions between Senate Democrats and White House. There will be no votes until Trump and Senate Democrats reach an agreement.
Update 9:06 a.m. EST Dec. 22: The Senate is expected to meet today at noon to see if they can hammer out an agreement that President Trump will sign.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told press Friday night that “constructive talks are underway," for such an agreement, reported CNN.
If any new deal is announced, lawmakers would be given 24 hours notice to return to Washington for a vote.
Update 1:31 a.m. EST Dec. 22: In a joint statement released shortly after the partial government shutdown went into effect, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y,) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) were critical of President Donald Trump and called the government closures the “Trump shutdown.”
"President Trump has said more than 25 times that he wanted a shutdown and now he has gotten what he wanted," Schumer and Pelosi said in the statement. “Democrats have offered Republicans multiple proposals to keep the government open, including one that already passed the Senate unanimously, and all of which include funding for strong, sensible, and effective border security -- not the president’s ineffective and expensive wall.
“If President Trump and Republicans choose to continue this Trump Shutdown, the new House Democratic majority will swiftly pass legislation to re-open government in January.”
Update 10:45 p.m. EST Dec. 21: With a partial government shutdown expected at midnight, White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney instructed agencies to plan for a shutdown.
Mulvaney says in a memo for government executives that “we are hopeful that this lapse in appropriations will be of short duration” but that employees should report to work when scheduled to “undertake orderly shutdown activities.”
Update 8:19 p.m. EST Dec. 21: The Senate adjourned without a deal on spending, just after 8 p.m. Friday evening ensuring a partial government shutdown at midnight Friday.
Senators expect to return at noon Saturday as talks continue.
Update 7:09 p.m. EST Dec. 21: The House adjourned Friday evening and will return Saturday at noon which will likely trigger a partial shutdown.
Update 5:55 p.m. EST Dec. 21: With just over 6 hours left until the midnight deadline, Vice President Pence’s tie-breaking vote advanced the 47-47 tally after a marathon, five-hour voting session in the Senate that dragged on as senators rushed back to Washington.
The move doesn’t immediately end the threat of a partial federal shutdown, but it kick-starts negotiations as Congress tries to find a resolution to Trump’s demand for the wall.
Senators say they won’t vote on a final bill to fund the government until Trump and congressional leaders all agree to a deal.
Update 3:15 p.m. EST Dec. 21: Trump spoke with reporters before signing a criminal justice reform bill Friday.
"It's possible that we'll have a shutdown,” the president said. “I think the chances are probably very good because I don't think Democrats care so much about maybe this issue, but this is a very big issue”
The Republican-led House approved funding Thursday for Trump's border wall and sent the bill to the Senate.
Senators are holding a procedural vote Thursday afternoon to determine whether to move forward with the bill.
During a meeting with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer last week, Trump said he’d shut down the government if lawmakers failed to secure $5 billion in funding for a wall to span the U.S.-Mexico border.
“If we don’t have border security, we’ll shut down the government,” Trump said. “I’m going to shut it down for border security.”
Update 10:20 a.m. EST Dec. 21: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the officials plan to discuss “the funding bill and the importance of border security” at 10:30 a.m.
The president insisted on Twitter Friday morning that, “The Democrats now own the shutdown!”
Ten days earlier, Trump said during a meeting with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer that he would be “proud to shut down the government for border security.”
Original report: A potential government shutdown looms and President Donald Trump is tweeting, saying that if a spending plan isn’t passed and signed by midnight, it will be the Democrats fault when the government closes.
On Thursday night, after a meeting between House Republicans and the president, the House passed a spending bill that included $5 billion for Trump’s border wall.
The vote was 217-185, CNN reported.
The bill is in the hands of the Senate whose members have to act on it before the midnight deadline or the government closes.
Washington watchers believe the bill will not pass because of the money earmarked for the wall, CNN reported.
Democrats have said they will not support the money for the border and both sides of the Senate aisle are needed if the spending plan is to pass.
In a series of morning tweets by the President, he placed the blame on Democrats if the government shuts down.
The president said he would not sign the Senate-backed spending bill that does not include money for the border wall. The Senate plan would grant funding to keep the government operating until Feb. 8, The Washington Post reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
At least five people were killed when a suspect identified as 21-year-old Zephen Xaver, opened fire in a SunTrust Bank in Sebring, Florida.
"After an assessment of the scene, we're sorry to learn that we have at least five victims -- people that were senselessly murdered as a result of this act -- in this bank," said Sebring police Chief Karl Hoglund.
Hoglund said Xaver was taken into custody after SWAT team members negotiated with him.
Xaver briefly was an online student of Salt Lake City-based Stevens-Henager College. A spokeswoman for the college, Sherrie Martin, confirmed that Xaver was enrolled from September 2018 until December, when he withdrew. She said his residence was listed as Sebring.
Florida Department of Corrections records show that Xaver was hired as a trainee prison guard at Avon Park Correctional Institution on Nov. 2 and resigned Jan. 9. No disciplinary issues were reported.
The victims have not yet been identified.
SunTrust Chairman and CEO Bill Rogers released a statement saying the bank was “working with officials and dedicating ourselves to fully addressing the needs of all the individuals and families involved.
At approximately 12:36 p.m. Wednesday, Sebring police responded to a report of an armed person at the SunTrust Bank in the Florida town, according to WFLA.
The sheriff of Highlands County confirmed the incident saying that the armed person contacted dispatch, telling officials that he had opened fire inside the bank.
Police and deputies responded and tried to negotiate, but those talks were not successful, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
The Highlands County SWAT team later entered the bank to continue negotiations with the alleged gunman, who eventually surrendered, the Sheriff’s Office said.
A police commander had said “several people are down,” WFLA reported.
Several ambulances were at the scene and businesses in the area of the bank were in a lockdown status, WTSP reported.
The News Sun reported two schools in the area were on conditional lockdown.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
The man Florida authorities said opened fire at a SunTrust Bank in Sebring, Florida, on Wednesday, killing at least five people, was arrested at the scene and taken into custody.
He was identified as 21-year-old Zephen Xaver. So far there’s little information about him or a motive for the attack.
Here’s what we know so far about the suspect:
-Xaver lives in Sebring, which is about 80 miles south of Orlando.
- He is a former Florida Department of Corrections officer. Xaver was hired as a prison guard in November 2018 at the Avon Park Correctional Institution and resigned in early January, according to The Washington Post.
“He had no discipline while employed with the department,” Florida Corrections Department spokesman Patrick Manderfield said, the Post reported.
-He moved to Florida from Plymouth, Indiana, according to news reports, but it’s unclear exactly when he moved to Sebring.
-Xaver kept a low profile on social media. A Facebook page he apparently started while living in Indiana showed he had nine friends and a single photo of himself. The page also had just two posts, both from 2016, and one of them was an image of the grim reaper. That page has since been taken down.
- When he was taken into custody, he appeared to be wearing a T-shirt that depicted the Four Housemen of the Apocalypse.
-It’s unclear what kinds of guns Xaver allegedly used in the shooting or how he got them.
The Pennsylvania teen with terminal cancer who played video games to raise money for other sick kids died Wednesday, according to WJAC-TV.
Maddox Hyde, 14, had neuroblastoma. Hewas diagnosed when he was 6 years old and had been battling cancer on and off for the last eight years.
He had been receiving treatments at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, but in November he decided to end treatments and to return home to Reynoldsville to live his final months.
Maddox will be remembered as an inspiration to others, raising money for other sick children.
In December, Maddox held a gaming marathon. Maddox played online, livestreaming and collecting donations for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
At Christmastime, Maddox also asked for Christmas cards from around the world and received more than 100,000 cards, gifts and letters, many from high-profile supporters such as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Pittsburgh Steelers and "Star Trek" actor William Shatner.
President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump and their son, Barron, showed their support for Maddox. Maddox's stepfather, Steve Potter, took to Facebook to share a photo of a green-and-gold Christmas card signed by the first family.
St. Bernards are known as a hearty breed originally used as work dogs in the Swiss-Italian Alps and that breeding became apparent this week when an escaped St. Bernand was found alive, albeit not quite so hearty, after 17 days lost outside in the frigid Minnesota cold.
Old Lady, as she’s called, was found Monday in Zimmerman after escaping from her foster family on Jan. 4.
The 10-year-old dog was discovered in the woods cold and shivering and in “rough shape,” according to the animal rescue group Ruff Start Rescue.
“We have had search parties, signs, phone calls, and so many people out looking for this poor girl,” rescue officials said in a Facebook post.
“It's a miracle! She's safe and back in the care of RSR.”
Old Lady is already feeling much better, RSR officials said, and is now heading to her “foster to adopt” home.
A family in Kent, Washington, is demanding answers after they say a fifth-grade student with autism was purposefully locked out of school by the principal.
The principal of Springbrook Elementary, Ashli Short, has now been placed on paid administrative leave pending an ongoing investigation, according to the Kent School District.
Lovine Montgomery says there’s no excuse for what her 11-year-old grandson endured on Dec. 14, 2018. Surveillance cameras from the school captured the fifth-grader wandering outside the school for 15 minutes.
It appears staff members are refusing to let him in. One teacher even escorts him back outside when he tries to walk in with other students after recess.
After a few minutes, he’s seen walking up to a classroom. The teacher inside goes to the window and closes the blinds in front of him. Montgomery couldn’t believe her eyes.
“Every time I watch this video it breaks my heart,” she said.
KIRO-TV asked the Kent School District about the case, but officials could not discuss the investigation.
However, Montgomery says this was the result of the principal feeling she was in “imminent danger” after escorting her grandson and his classmate back to their special needs classroom, earlier that day.
According to family members, the child asked to use the bathroom, which as a special needs student, he should have access to anytime. The principal allegedly refused to let him go, so he tried to pass her. Surveillance video shows the principal take a step back, but it doesn’t appear there’s any immediate threat. The child gives up and goes out the back door.
“That’s when she locked him out,” Montgomery said.
Video shows the 11-year-old repeatedly trying to open doors to get back inside the school. The child seems calm but confused. At one point, he wanders into the parking lot with no supervision. He even tries to open the front office door, but he’s locked out. The family says the principal made an announcement on the PA system, ordering all staff to keep the child outside.
“This is his school where they are supposed to keep him safe,” Montgomery said, “and they intentionally locked him outside.”
After about 15 minutes, another student eventually let him back inside the school. The child was suspended for two days, according to family.
His mother, Javohn Perry, wants answers about the way her son was treated.
“Imagine how my son was feeling? This is bullying,” she said.
She is now taking her son out of Springbrook Elementary with the hopes of finding a school that’s more accommodating of his needs.
“Our No. 1 priority during this time is the continued excellent education and the safety of all students at Springbrook Elementary,” according to the Kent School District.
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