HC Wake-Up Call: Trump Postpones Pelosi's Overseas Trip, Number of Federal Workers Seeking Aid Doubles & Prince Philip Uninjured After Car Accident

Good morning, Her Campus! With a break-neck news cycle, there is no possible way for you to stay on top of every story that comes across your feeds—we’re all only human, after all.

But, life comes at you fast. So grab a cup of coffee and settle in for this quick and dirty guide to stories you might’ve been sleeping on (like, literally. It’s early.)

President Trump Postpones Speaker Pelosi's Overseas Trip After She Calls for State of the Union Delay

In a continuing standoff between President Donald Trump and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Trump has postponed Pelosi’s overseas trip to Belgium and Afghanistan – denying her access to a military aircraft - after she requested that the president delay his State of the Union address until the government shutdown is resolved, ABC News reports.

“Due to the Shutdown, I am sorry to inform you that your trip to Brussels, Egypt, and Afghanistan has been postponed,” Trump wrote in a letter to Pelosi, released Thursday afternoon. “We will reschedule this seven-day excursion when the Shutdown is over.”

In the letter, Trump expressed that he felt “it would be better” if Pelosi was in Washington D.C., continuing to negotiate with him “and joining the Strong Border Security movement to end the shutdown.”

“Obviously, if you would like to make your journey by flying commercial, that would certainly be your prerogative,” Trump added. “I look forward to seeing you soon and even more forward to watching our open and dangerous Southern Border finally receive the attention, funding and security it so desperately deserves.”

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted out the letter.

When asked why Trump sent the letter out to Pelosi, Sanders said, “We want to keep her in Washington. If she leaves she guarantees that the second round of paychecks to workers won’t go out.”

Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, responded to Trump’s letter via Twitter, debunking the president’s claim that the trip was merely a “public relations event.”

“In Brussels, the delegation was scheduled to meet with top NATO commanders, U.S. military leaders and key allies–to affirm the United States’ ironclad commitment to the NATO alliance,” Hammill tweeted. He added that Pelosi was to also to “obtain critical national security & intelligence briefings from those on the front lines” in Afghanistan and thank the troops for their service.

According to The Huffington Post, Trump issued the letter only an hour before Pelosi was set to depart, and the letter exposed a trip that had relatively been kept under wraps for security reasons.

The president’s letter came one day after the speaker, who traditionally invites the president to Congress to give the annual State of the Union to a joint session of Congress, issued a letter requesting that the January 29th appearance be postponed until after the shutdown was resolved. Pelosi cited security concerns, as the U.S. Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security had to furlough some workers and require other to work without pay during the shutdown, HuffPost reports.

As of Thursday, however, Pelosi told reporters that she had not yet received a response from Trump regarding the delay of the annual address.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who was supposed to join Pelosi’s congressional delegation to Afghanistan, said Trump’s decision to postpone the trip was “completely inappropriate.”

“We’re not going to allow the President of the United States to tell the Congress it can’t fulfill its oversight responsibilities, it can’t ensure that our troops have what they need whether our government is open or closed," Schiff told reporters after meeting with Pelosi in her Capitol office.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who has often been an ally of Trump’s, criticized the tit-for-tat between Trump and Pelosi, calling it “sophomoric.”

Although Graham had said in a statement that Pelosi’s request to delay the annual address was “very irresponsible and blatantly political,” he called Trump’s move to postpone the trip “also inappropriate.”

Number of Federal Workers Seeking Aid Doubles

The number of furloughed federal employees seeking unemployment benefits has doubled, topping 10,000 individuals during the week of January 5th, the Labor Department said Thursday.  

According to AP News, federal workers who are not working during the government shutdown are eligible for unemployment benefits, but not those who are working without pay. The Labor Department has said that those who receive unemployment benefits will have to repay those funds if they end up receiving back pay when the government shutdown ends.

image via Wikimedia Commons

The shutdown, which began on December 22nd, caused approximately 420,000 federal employees to work without pay, while another 380,000 workers are not working and not getting paid. But, according to AP News, those numbers have altered slightly as some agencies, such as the IRS, have called some workers back to work.

Unemployment applications rose over the last week in states that have high numbers of federal contractors, including Washington D.C., Virginia and Maryland. And more applications for unemployment benefits could come in in the weeks ahead.

Prince Philip Uninjured After Car Accident

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth, was “involved in a road traffic accident with another vehicle” on Thursday afternoon but was not injured, according to Buckingham Palace.

“The accident took place close to the Sandringham Estate. Local police attended the scene,” a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said.

image via KL.FM 96.7

Prince Philip, who was staying at Norfolk retreat where he and the queen usually stay during the winters, was driving his Land Rover when it was involved in a crash with a Kia at around 3 p.m., the Norfolk Police Department said in a statement.

According to USA Today, the female driver of the Kia suffered cuts and a female passenger sustained an injury to her arm. Both females were treated at Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn and were discharged.

A witness to the crash told BBC News that the SUV had overturned on the driver’s side and that broken glass was scattered on the road.

Since retiring from public life in August 2017, Prince Philip, 97, has been spotted driving cars periodically, usually while driving on one of the royal estates, ABC News reports.

While he has been retired from public life, Prince Philip did attend the wedding of his grandson, Prince Harry, and Meghan Markle in May 2018, following a successful hip-replacement surgery. Prince Philip was last seen in public when he attended the wedding of his granddaughter Princess Eugenie of York in October.

What to look out for...

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