Published: Mon, January 07, 2019
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Democrat-controlled House passes U.S. shutdown bills but impasse remains

Democrat-controlled House passes U.S. shutdown bills but impasse remains

WASHINGTON-President Donald Trump took to the White House briefing room to address the media about border security on January 3-the first time he has spoken from that podium.

Even if the bill passes in the Republican-controlled Senate, it could still face a Trump veto. "Does anyone have any doubt that we're not doing a wall?"

Representative Seth Moulton of MA, who at one time was leading a rebellion against Pelosi, voted to support her on Thursday.

The briefing happened in less than 10 minutes, after which Trump and White House Spokesperson Sarah Sanders left without taking reporters' questions.

The California Democrat released the letter just hours after her election and swearing-in as speaker on the first day of the new Congress.

Democrats say that Trump was holding government funding hostage for the wall, which they feel was "unnecessary and ineffective".

"And that means a wall, that means a physical barrier, but it also means a broad range of border security measures that'll make our country more secure". Yeah, one dollar. The fact is a wall is an immorality. Some areas will be all concrete but the experts at Border Patrol prefer a Wall that is see through (thereby making it possible to see what is happening on both sides). It was his first time delivering remarks at the briefing room podium.

Trump has said he will reject any measure that does not provide $5 billion in funding for his wall on the Mexican border. Last week, federal employees sued the United States government over the requirement that workers deemed "essential" must work without pay during the shutdown.

Though suspense about the outcome vanished last month, the 15 Democrats who supported other people or voted "present" was an unusually high number of defectors for speaker elections, which every new Congress holds on its first day.

In an interview with CNN, McConnell said he was waiting for Trump to come to an agreement with Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, since he needs seven Democratic votes to pass legislation.

"I have never had so much support as I have in the last week over my stance for border security, for border control, and for frankly, the wall or the barrier", he said.

Polls show a majority of Americans oppose the border wall, although Republicans strongly support it.

Trump made the wall - a project estimated to cost about $23 billion - a key campaign promise in 2016, saying Mexico would pay for it and arguing it is needed to combat illegal immigration and drug trafficking.

In addition, the House voted 239-192, including backing by five Republicans, to fund the Department of Homeland Security at current spending levels through February 8 with $1.3 billion for border security but no money to build a wall. It was approved, 239-192.

Another component of the Democratic package includes six other bipartisan bills, some already passed by the Senate, that would fund the departments of Agriculture and Housing, along with others closed by the shutdown. Some House Democrats are pushing for this to counter the deficit, which is predicted to reach $1 trillion this year under Republican leadership. Trump designated Vice-President Mike Pence, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and adviser Jared Kushner to work with a congressional delegation over the weekend.

The House will be "for the people", Pelosi said.

McConnell responded that Schumer's idea was a "total nonstarter" and a waste of time.

But some Republican senators appeared open to at least part of the Democrats' proposal. "I would call it political theater, not productive lawmaking".

"If he gives in now, that's the end of 2019 in terms of him being an effective president", said Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo.

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