Thursday, April 25, 2019 10:46:45 PM
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.
Independent think-tank Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD) said when a government comes to power; it takes new initiatives in line with its electoral pledges. Yet nothing mentionable could be seen after the current government took office. It said an entrenched vested group is framing policies, taking the government in its ...
Southampton striker Shane Long scored the fastest goal in Premier League history on Tuesday after netting just 7.69 seconds into his side's 1-1 draw at Watford, who snatched a point thanks to Andre Gray's late equaliser.Long's record-breaking goal came immediately after the kick-off when he blocked a clearance from Watford ...
A new anti-Brexit political party launched its campaign Tuesday for next month's European Parliament elections as British lawmakers returned from their Easter break with rumours of fresh bids to topple Prime Minister Theresa May.Change UK, formed by breakaway MPs from Britain's two main parties disgruntled at their stances on Brexit, ...
Actress Sri Reddy who became a sensation for raising her voice against casting couch in Tollywood is back to making the headlines. Sri Reddy, on Friday, wrote an open letter to K Chandrasekhar Rao, Chief Minister of Telangana and requested him to personally investigate about the sexual harassment that is ...
Actress Priya Anand, who is popular for her roles in Telugu films 180, Ko Antey Koti and Leader, was trolled and called ‘bad luck’ for actors. Tamil actor JK Rithesh, who was recently seen in LKG, has passed away recently due to severe chest pain. Last year, actress Sridevi passed ...
AFP :Islamist suicide bombings that killed more than 300 people in Sri Lanka at the weekend were carried out in revenge for last month's attacks on two mosques in New Zealand, the government said Tuesday, citing an initial police probe.The revelation came as the death toll in the Easter Sunday ...
THE gas line explosion that killed two garment workers and injured six others in a residential block in Narayanganj on early Monday is not an isolated incident, rather an explicit exposure of the danger of derelict, faulty and illegal gas connections and substandard gas burner uses. We observe that incidents ...
Cristiano Ronaldo said on Saturday he is "1,000 percent committed" to staying with Juventus next season after claiming his first Serie A title.Massimiliano Allegri's side needed just one point to nail down its eighth straight league championship, which helped ease some of the pain of its shock Champions League exit ...
Reuters, Washington :Top congressional Democrats left the door open on Sunday to the impeachment of US President Donald Trump, but said they would first need to complete their own investigations into whether he obstructed justice in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe.Some party leaders have cautioned against impeachment just 18 ...