Friday, February 22, 2019 03:12:48 AM
President Donald Trump promises a shift to sunny optimism in the State of the Union speech but with his congressional Democratic nemesis seated right behind him, will he be able to resist throwing his usual thunderbolts?
The annual presidential speech to Congress is typically a ritualistic set piece, bloated by lofty rhetoric and endless ovations. Trump's dramatically delayed State of the Union on Tuesday is, like the president himself, less predictable.
The White House is flagging an "optimistic," "unifying," even "visionary" speech to mark this presidency's midway point. In an excerpt released Friday, Trump predicts Republicans and Democrats can "break decades of political stalemate."
But the mood in Washington is as hostile as it has been for years following the confrontation between Trump and the Democratic-led House of Representatives over his demand for funding for a US-Mexico border wall.
Already, the row has triggered a crippling five-week partial shutdown of government and led to the State of the Union speech itself being put off by a week.
And who'll be sitting on a dais just a few feet behind Trump when he speaks? The House Democrats' steely speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Pelosi has frustrated Trump since December by pushing back against the wall
project. Neither is there much sign of a thaw ahead of the president's
February 15 deadline for Congress finally to come up with funding or face renewed conflict. Pelosi, Trump said in an interview with CBS television's "Face the Nation" Sunday talkshow, is "rigid" and "very bad for the country."
If Congress doesn't relent, Trump says he could repeat his government shutdown tactic, which earlier this year led to the temporary freezing of 800,000 federal jobs.
Alternatively, he could bypass Congress altogether, declaring a national emergency due to what he claims is an invasion of criminals along the border, thereby attempting to secure wall funds unilaterally.
It's a move that would spark uproar and lawsuits accusing Trump of manufacturing a crisis for his own political gain.
But not only is an emergency declaration a real possibility, it could, Trump has teased, be unleashed during his speech.
Traditionally, the State of the Union is a showcase for the president's accomplishments and broad new proposals.
Trump can be counted on to tout the strength of the US economy, a key message in his looming 2020 reelection campaign. The White House says he will also propose federal infrastructure spending, an area where Democrats could conceivably join forces with the government.
More contentiously, Trump will claim foreign policy successes.
That means defending his push - criticized by some in the security services and the Republicans - to withdraw US soldiers from Syria and Afghanistan as soon as possible.
Trump is likewise expected to update Congress on China trade talks and on his intention to hold a second summit with reclusive North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, whom he is trying to persuade to give up nuclear weapons.
And he may use the high-profile occasion to dial up the pressure on Venezuela's leftist leader Nicolas Maduro - with opposition leader Juan Guaido's envoy to Washington among the top guests invited to attend.
At each listing of successes, Trump will see Republican legislators rise to clap.
The opposition, however, may greet much of the speech with silence or even the odd heckle, like the "You lie!" yelled at Barack Obama in 2009.
Democrats are lining up ahead of the 2020 polls to take on a president they see as already badly wounded.
Among those watching Trump from the chamber will be members of House investigative committees determined to probe the president's personal finances and other sensitive areas.
That's on top of the huge report by special prosecutor Robert Mueller, who is charged with examining alleged collusion between the Trump election campaign and the Kremlin.
So Trump could breathe fire during his big speech. But Pelosi and her Democrats will be breathing down his neck.
Sports Reporter :Despite Sabbir Rahman's century Bangladesh lost to New Zealand by 88 runs in the third and last One Day International (ODI) match at Dunedin in New Zealand on Wednesday. New Zealand clinched the ODI series 3-0.Sabbir hit a marvelous 102. His 110-ball innings was laced with 12 fours ...
THE nation solemnly remembers the supreme sacrifice of the valiant souls who laid down their lives to establish the right of our mother tongue Bangla as the state language of Pakistan on this day in 1952. As the pioneering movement that led to our ultimate independence, Ekushey invokes the emotional ...
Reuters, Ramallah, West Bank :The Palestinian Authority (PA) will no longer accept tax revenues collected on its behalf by Israel following its decision to trim the sum over the PA's financial support of militants' families, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said.The cash-strapped Palestinian Authority, an interim self-government body set up following ...
Actress Kriti Sanon is all set for a superb 2019 with Luka Chuppi, Arjun Patiala, Housefull 4 and Panipat. The characters the actress is essaying are strong-minded and confident as she is drawn towards such empowered characters. Kriti’s role in Bareilly Ki Barfi as Bitti was that of an independent ...
GAS explosion has become very common in the country nowadays. Even if someone escapes death, the victim has to suffer burn injury or loss of valuable organs. The authorities concerned still did not take any effective step to control such incidents. In the latest incident, seven people including a couple ...
Malaika Arora, who is recently making headlines for her relationship with Arjun Kapoor and the couples social PDA, recently opened up about her divorce with Arbaaz Khan on a radio show. Talking about her divorce she revealed that it was a mutual decision to part ways so that they could ...
Reuters, Islamabad :Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Tuesday Pakistan was ready to cooperate with India in its investigation of a deadly bombing in the disputed Kashmir region last week, which India blamed on Pakistan, but warned of retaliation if attacked.Tension between the nuclear-armed neighbors has risen sharply over the ...
ABOUT one lakh students have applied to the Directorate of Primary Education (DPE) of the Primary and Mass Education Ministry for reexamination of their results, claiming that justice will be established if the authorities work properly. Some of students who failed in the examination alleged that they did not get ...
AP, Washington :Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe said in an interview that aired Sunday that a "crime may have been committed" when President Donald Trump fired the head of the FBI and tried to publicly undermine an investigation into his campaign's ties to Russia. McCabe also said in the ...
Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Actress of present generation Moury Salim has been engaged with acting for many days. Though she has been busy with acting for long time but could not get the opportunity to work in challenging roles properly or the directors did not utilise her acting quality appropriately. On ...
BBC Online :Real Madrid missed the chance to go second in La Liga as Girona came from behind to record a surprise away win on Sunday.Casemiro powerfully headed in from Toni Kroos' deep cross from the right wing to give the hosts a first-half lead.Cristhian Stuani's penalty made it 1-1 ...