US House passes bills that would end government shutdown, without wall funds

Posted January 07, 2019

Asked about it outside a Friday morning caucus meeting of House Democrats, Tlaib smiled and kept walking. But first, they'll have to get government reopened from the partial shutdown.

The House passed two measures that would reopen agencies where funding had lapsed, but provide no money for a border wall demanded by President Donald Trump.

The legislation comes 13 days after about a quarter of the U.S. government shut down and on the first day of a Democrat-controlled House.

"We're trying to open up government", Pelosi said on Thursday. "There is no amount of persuasion he can do to say to us, 'We want you to do something that is not effective that costs billions of dollars.' That sends the wrong message about who we are as a country".

President Donald Trump, left, listens as Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, talks about border security, January 3, 2019, after making a surprise visit to the press briefing room of the White House.

The House has elected Nancy Pelosi as speaker.

At 78, Pelosi is the first person to reclaim to the speakership in more than 60 years, winning support from all but a dozen Democrats after two months of horse trading and policy promises.

But with Trump dug in over the $5 billion he wants to build the wall, the shutdown could drag on. Many rank-and-file Democrats ran on pro-impeachment platforms, but with polls indicating only a third of Americans support the idea and a two-thirds majority in the Republican-controlled Senate required to remove the president, they are unlikely to make any sudden moves.

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Pelosi elected Speaker as Democrats take control of House of Representatives

Ahead of the final vote, Pelosi deployed her deal-making abilities to win over detractors, and by mid-December, she appeared to have secured the votes necessary to prevail after negotiating an agreement with some of the Democrats who had been lobbying to block her from the speakership. The opening ushered in a new era of divided government in Washington, with Democrats intent on checking the Republican's turbulent presidency almost two years into his term.

Overnight, Democratic Rep-elect Ilhan Omar of Minnesota tweeted a picture with her family at the airport. Cory Gardner of Colorado and Susan Collins of ME - the only Senate Republicans running for reelection in states Trump lost - pointed to cracks within the GOP that could grow as the shutdown nears the two-week mark.

Carol Miller of West Virginia is the only new female Republican representative, bringing the total number of conservative women in the House to 13 - a decrease from 23 before the mid-term elections.

And they will continue their oversight of the Trump administration and Russian interference in the 2016 election. "It just came at a very opportune time".

Still, corralling a large House majority has never been easy, and Democrats are ushering in the largest class since the Watergate era.

"He could not give a good answer", Schumer said. It was the Freedom Caucus leaders who urged Trump to fight for the border wall money and reject legislation that would have prevented the shutdown days before Christmas.

She closed her remarks by remembering the late President George H.W. Bush and his work with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and she noted that Rep. Jim Langevin of Rhode Island, the first quadriplegic elected to Congress, will be the first Democrat to preside in the new Congress.

Trump said his meeting with the union officials had always been planned and just happened to come at "a very opportune time". It includes New York's Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.