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Signs of US govt shutdown progress emerging

2019-01-19 18:50
The first tangible signs of movement may be emerging in the impasse that has shut down the government for weeks: US President Donald Trump is promising a "major announcement" about the closure and the US-Mexico border and Democrats are pledging more money for border security. It was unclear whether the developments, following days of clashes between Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, might represent serious steps toward resolving the partisan fight or instead may simply be political posturing as the partial shutdown reached a record 29th day. Hundreds of thousands of federal workers have gone without paychecks, enduring financial hardship. Many public services are unavailable to Americans during the closure. The White House has declined to provide details about what the president would announce midafternoon Saturday. Trump was not expected to sign a national emergency declaration he has said was an option to circumvent Congress, according to two people familiar with the planning. Instead, he was expected to propose the outlines of a deal that the administration believes could have the potential to pave the way for a shutdown end, according to one of the people. They were not authorized to publicly discuss details about the impending announcement and spoke on condition of anonymity. "I think it'll be an important statement," Trump told reporters on Saturday before travelling to an air base in Delaware to honour four Americans killed in a suicide bomb attack in Syria this week.