Pence Blames Democrats for Shutdown

Ryan Begs Senate Dems to Not Shut Down Government

Ryan Begs Senate Dems to Not Shut Down Government

Vice President Mike Pence went ahead with his delayed trip to the Middle East on Friday, despite the looming government shutdown.

I spoke to Cyd Zeigler, author of Fair Play: How LGBT Athletes Are Claiming Their Rightful Place in Sports, who said, "The most important piece of what Adam said about Mike Pence is his willingness to sit down with the vice president for an open conversation".

Pence discussed the issue with Jewish and evangelical leaders in the months leading up to the decision and advocated for the plan within the administration.

Traveling to Israel just as Palestinians have condemned recent decisions by President Donald Trump's administration, Pence will arrive in the region as a longtime stalwart supporter of Israel who has questioned the notion of the US serving as an "honest broker" in the stalled peace process. He also cited the killing of 311 worshippers inside a mosque in northern Sinai last November.

The vice president will hold four days of meetings in Egypt, Jordan and Israel during his visit, the first to the region by a senior administration official since Trump announced plans in December to designate Jerusalem as Israel's capital and begin the process of moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv, angering Palestinian leaders. Sissi's regime has been accused of gross human rights violations and stifling the press.

During past government shutdowns, federal employees were exempt from furloughs if their jobs were national security-related or they performed essential activities deemed to "protect life and property".

"We heard President el-Sissi out", Pence said. In the hall outside, there were tense negotiations over which reporters would eventually be allowed into the meeting for the brief statements.

"I don't think he has a real concept of reality", Rippon said of Pence.

"I told him we'd like to see those American citizens restored to their families and restored to our country", he said.

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New Zealand's prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, has only been in office since October. "As is the case when I am overseas, Mr. New Zealand has long held a progressive reputation, having been the first country to give women the right to vote in 1893.

Sisi, one of Trump's closest allies in the region, had urged the United States president before his Jerusalem declaration "not to complicate the situation in the region by taking measures that jeopardise the chances of peace in the Middle East". "My perception was that he was encouraged by that message".

Pence will arrive in Israel Sunday night, and will remain until Tuesday evening.

The Senate failed to reach a midnight deadline to broker a deal on funding the government.

Vice President Pence is scheduled to arrive in Egypt on January 20, 2018. Pence and his wife, Karen Pence, spent about 20 minutes in the terminal talking with dozens of young members of the Air Force who were headed to Kuwait, many for their first deployment.

While thousands of federal employees are furloughed in a government shutdown, military members are considered essential and would still report for duty despite a shutdown, officials have said.

"We'll get this thing figured out in Washington", Pence said after one group photo. "You guys stay focused on your mission".

He is scheduled to address the Knesset, Israel's parliament, on Monday.

But Rippon also said he will not protest for gay rights or against the Trump administration in any way during the Olympics themselves.

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