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National
Government shutdown: Pelosi asks Trump to postpone State of the Union address
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Government shutdown: Pelosi asks Trump to postpone State of the Union address

Watch - President Trump Addresses the Nation, Democrats Follow With Their Response

Government shutdown: Pelosi asks Trump to postpone State of the Union address

The partial government shutdown that began Dec. 22 continues 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.

>> Read more trending news

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.

>> From Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupree: TSA: “Financial limitations” causing airport screeners not to show up for work

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.

>> Pelosi asks Trump to postpone State of the Union amid shutdown

“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.

 

>> FDA restarts inspections during shutdown, inspectors working without pay

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.

>> Atlanta airport security lines more than an hour long amid federal shutdown

“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.

>> From Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree: Trump heads to see farmers with shutdown in fourth week

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.

 

>> From Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupree: Trump to visit Mexican border as White House pushes for security funding

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.

>> From Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree: Trump: Shutdown could go ‘months or even years’ in border wall dispute

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.

>> From Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree: Trump threatens vetoes as House passes bills to end partial shutdown

“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.

>> From Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupree: With impasse over wall funding, federal workers gear up for shutdown

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.”

>> From Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree: VIDEO: Trump and top Democrats spar in Oval Office showdown

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.”

>> From Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree: VIDEO: Trump and top Democrats spar in Oval Office showdown

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. 

>>From Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree: With Friday night deadline, funding fight shifts to Senate

 

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. 

>> From Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree: Shutdown chances jump as Trump demands money for his border wall

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.

>> Government shutdown: What will close; will you get your Social Security check, SNAP, WIC?

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.

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The United States Capitol grounds on December 20, 2018 in Washington, DC.
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Trump tweets as government shutdown looms

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The United States Capitol grounds on December 20, 2018 in Washington, DC.

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  • A Tennessee schoolteacher is accused of sex crimes involving a teen. >> Watch the news report here Jasmine Edmond, 24, was arrested Monday. She is charged with sexual battery by an authority figure. Edmond, who is a teacher at Power Center Academy High School in Memphis, began working at the school in August 2018, according to a letter sent to parents. She taught several different math classes. The alleged incident happened in November 2017, prior to Edmond’s employment with PCA High. She was employed by Shelby County Schools at the time, according to the letter, which was written by PCA High Principal Antonio Ryan. >> On Fox13Memphis.com: Man accused of attacking woman he forcibly held into prostitution, police say Ryan said the school completed a background check on Edmond, but it didn’t show anything about the alleged crime. Edmond is accused of engaging in sexual contact with someone between the ages of 13 and 17. At the time of the unlawful sexual contact, she 'had supervisory power over (the victim) by virtue of her occupational status and used the power to accomplish sexual contact,' according to the indictment. Edmond was released from jail on bond. WHBQ reached out to both Gestalt Community Schools – which operates PCA High – and Shelby County Schools for comment.  SCS confirmed Edmond was placed on administrative leave on March 27, 2018, to conduct an investigation into the allegations. She did not return to the district.  >> Read more news stories  Below is the statement given by SCS officials regarding her arrest: 'Following the reported allegations, the employee was placed on administrative leave on March 27 so that the District and law enforcement could conduct a thorough investigation. This is standard District procedure. The employee did not return to the school for the remainder of the year and is no longer employed by the District.' Gestalt Community Schools also responded with the following statement: 'We were shocked and disappointed when Jasmine Edmond was arrested. She was a new teacher at Power Center Academy, and we performed a thorough background check last summer, which showed no indication of such behavior. She is currently on administrative leave from Gestalt Community Schools pending further investigation. Although we have no knowledge at this time that her behavior impacted any of our scholars, we are doing our own internal due diligence. We will fully assist the Memphis Police Department with their investigation.' Read more here.
  • Phoenix police are looking for answers after a dead newborn baby was discovered at an Amazon fulfillment center Wednesday. According to KTVK, the body was found about 8:30 p.m. in a women's bathroom at the facility on West Lower Buckeye Road, authorities said. Officials said the baby was inside a garbage can, KNXV reported. >> Read more news stories  Amazon called the incident 'terribly sad and tragic' in a statement. 'We are working with local authorities to support their investigation,' the statement read, according to KTVK. 'The safety and wellness of our team is our top priority.' Read more here or here.
  • With the federal minimum wage of $7.25 cents an hour unchanged for ten years, Democrats on Wednesday unveiled a plan in Congress to more than double that pay rate over a six year period, arguing it’s past time for lawmakers to make it easier for working Americans to earn enough money to support their families. “President Trump isn’t going to stick up for American workers – we Democrats will,” Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer said to cheers at a U.S. Capitol news conference. “No person working full-time in America should be living in poverty,” said Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), who will lead the charge for a higher minimum wage in the House as chairman of the Education and Labor Committee. “The current $7.25 an hour federal minimum wage is a starvation wage,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). 'No American working full time should be living in poverty,' House Education and Labor Chairman Bobby Scott said when introducing legislation to increase the hourly minimum wage to $15. The last time Congress raised the federal minimum wage was in 2007. pic.twitter.com/nypZl0CX7L — POLITICO (@politico) January 16, 2019 “Increasing the federal minimum wage is the right thing to do,” said Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL). “I believe this legislation would provide a boost to businesses and the broader economy.” While the Congress has not touched the minimum wage since Democrats pushed through an increase in 2007, individual states have taken a different approach, as now 29 states have a higher minimum wage than the feds. Just last year, voters in Missouri approved raising the minimum wage to $12/hour by 2023; Arkansas voters approved a minimum wage going up to $11 by 2021. “The last time we were in charge, one of the first things we did was raise the minimum wage,” said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), referring to a 2007 law approved by a Democratic Congress and signed by President George W. Bush. “It was not enough then,” Hoyer said of the $7.25 per hour federal wage. “It is clearly not enough now.” The $15 per hour wage – known by some groups as the “Fight for 15” – certainly has a good chance at getting through the House, now that Democrats in charge; but it faces an uphill fight in the U.S. Senate. Our #FightFor15 Sisters and Brothers welcoming members of Congress to this afternoon's announcement of the #RaiseTheWage Act of 2019. pic.twitter.com/rza7EjsAfP — Fight For 15 (@fightfor15) January 16, 2019 “A living wage for all workers helps business, families, and the economy,” said Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA). “The steady increase is good for workers, good for business, and good for the economy,” said Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT). “No American working full time should live in poverty.” A section-by-section review of the bill can be found here. The actual legislative text is here.
  • In a possible sign of progress toward ending a costly tariff war over Beijing's technology ambitions, the top U.S. and Chinese trade envoys will hold talks in Washington later this month. China's economy czar, Vice Premier Liu He, will travel to Washington for the talks Jan. 30-31, the Ministry of Commerce said Thursday. It said he was invited by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. Liu's participation reflects involvement at a higher political level than talks earlier this month in Beijing between lower-level officials. No details were released, but economists and business groups said a decision by Liu and Lighthizer to join them would indicate enough progress to require higher-level political decisions. The two sides have imposed tariff hikes of up to 25 percent on tens of billions of dollars of each other's goods in the fight over U.S. complaints Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology. Washington also is pressing China to roll back plans for state-led industry development that its trading partners say violate its market-opening obligations. The Washington talks are aimed at carrying out the Dec. 1 agreement by Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping to suspend further tariff increases for 90 days while they negotiate, said Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng. The talks are likely to take up more complex and politically charged U.S. complaints about Chinese economic policy, said Yu Chunhai, a trade expert at Renmin University in Beijing. He said China must insist on a 'bottom line' beyond which it won't go. Chinese officials have suggested Beijing might adjust its industry plans. But they reject pressure to abandon what they consider a path to prosperity and greater global influence. Liu probably will tell U.S. officials 'what China can and can't do,' said Yu. For their part, Chinese leaders want Washington to relax export controls on 'dual use' technology with possible military uses. They say Chinese companies are treated unfairly in national security reviews of proposed corporate acquisitions, though almost all deals are approved unchanged. 'It can't be denied that China has trade interests,' said Yu. 'Such communication must be made between officials at a higher level.' Chinese exports to the United States held up through much of 2018 despite Trump's tariff hikes but contracted by 3.5 percent in December compared with a year earlier as the penalties began to depress demand. Liu held talks in June in Beijing with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross as trade tensions mounted. That meeting failed to produce a settlement and Trump went ahead the next month with his first round of tariff hikes. Liu also made a surprise appearance at this month's talks in Beijing, which financial markets took as a positive sign. Global stock markets rose but then fell back after the meeting produced no agreements. U.S.-Chinese relations are increasingly strained over technology, trade and cyber-spying. An executive of Chinese technology giant Huawei Technologies Ltd., Meng Wanzhou, was arrested Dec. 1 in Canada on U.S. charges related to possible violations of trade sanctions on Iran. This month's talks in Beijing went ahead despite Chinese warnings of severe consequences over Meng's arrest. Economists said that reflected how much importance Xi attaches to restoring access to the U.S. market for Chinese exporters. On Thursday, The Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. prosecutors are investigating whether Huawei stole trade secrets from U.S. companies. The investigation was prompted in part by a lawsuit brought by T-Mobile U.S. Inc. that accused two Huawei employees of stealing technology for a robotic arm used to test mobile phones, the Journal said, citing unidentified sources. The two companies settled their dispute in 2017. The U.S. demands strike at the heart of a state-led development model the ruling Communist Party sees as a great success over the past three decades and is reluctant to give up. Neither side has shown any sign of changing its basic position and economists say the 90-day window is too short to resolve all the conflicts between the biggest and second-biggest global economies. Even if negotiators agree to a deal that resolves some of their disputes, U.S. hardliners might persuade Trump to reject it. A U.S. government statement after the Beijing talks said they focused on Chinese promises to buy more American exports and addressed the need for any deal to be subject to 'ongoing verification' — a reflection of U.S. frustration that the Chinese have failed to live up to past commitments. Trump has complained repeatedly about the U.S. trade deficit with China. China reported Monday its 2018 trade surplus with the United States swelled to a record $323.3 billion. Beijing has sought to defuse pressure for more sweeping changes by emphasizing its growing importance as an import market and promising to open further its auto and some other industries. Lighthizer has pressed Beijing to scrap or change rules Washington says block market access or improperly help Chinese companies. U.S. companies also want action on Chinese policies they complain improperly favor local companies. Those include subsidies and other favors for high-tech and state-owned industry, rules on technology licensing and preferential treatment of domestic suppliers in government procurement. Beijing also faces complaints from the European Union. The 28-nation trade bloc has filed a challenge in the World Trade Organization against Chinese licensing rules it says hinder foreign companies from protecting and profiting from their own technologies.