WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democrats wasted no time flexing their new energy in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday as they maneuvered to go laws backed by new Speaker Nancy Pelosi that may finish a 13-day partial authorities shutdown whereas ignoring President Donald Trump’s demand for $5 billion for a border wall.
Thursday marked the primary day of divided authorities in Washington since Trump took workplace in January 2017, as Democrats took management in the House from his fellow Republicans, who stay in cost of the Senate.
The 2019-2020 Congress convened with roughly 1 / 4 of the federal authorities closed, affecting 800,000 staff, in a shutdown triggered by Trump’s demand final month for the cash for a U.S.-Mexican border wall – opposed by Democrats – as a part of any laws funding authorities companies.
The House formally picked veteran Democratic lawmaker Pelosi as its speaker, elevating the liberal from San Francisco for her second stint in one in all Washington’s strongest jobs. She is the one lady ever to function speaker and can preside over essentially the most various U.S. House in historical past, together with a report variety of ladies and Latinos.
The two-part Democratic package deal features a invoice to fund the Department of Homeland Security at present ranges by Feb. eight, offering $1.three billion for border fencing and $300 million for different border safety objects together with expertise and cameras.
The second half would fund the opposite federal companies that are actually unfunded together with the Departments of Agriculture, Interior, Transportation, Commerce and Justice, by Sept. 30, the top of the present fiscal 12 months.
The White House on Thursday issued a veto menace in opposition to each components of the Democratic laws.
But that didn’t deter House Democrats.
In their first legislative victory since taking energy earlier in the day, the 2 payments to reopen the federal government cleared an essential procedural hurdle because the House authorised the principles for debating the 2 measures. That cleared the best way for a vote anticipated later in the night on passage.
As speaker, Pelosi now could be located to guide Democratic opposition to Trump’s agenda and perform investigations of his administration following two years throughout which congressional Republicans largely acquiesced to the president.
Trump later on Thursday made an unannounced look in the White House briefing room to make the case for the border wall, accompanied by members of a union that represents border patrol brokers that endorsed him for president in 2016. He congratulated Pelosi on her choice as speaker and stated: “Hopefully we’re going to work together.”
“The wall – you can call it a barrier, you can call it whatever you want – but essentially we need protection in our country,” Trump informed reporters, with out taking questions.
‘THE WRONG FOOT’
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell signaled that the Democratic laws had no future in the Senate, calling it “political theater, not productive lawmaking.”
“Let’s not waste the time,” he stated on the Senate flooring. “Let’s not get off on the wrong foot with House Democrats using their platform to produce political statements rather than serious solutions.”
McConnell stated the Senate wouldn’t take up any proposal that didn’t have an actual probability of getting Trump’s signature.
Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer urged McConnell to permit the Democratic laws to return to a vote in the chamber and stated there was no cause to maintain components of the federal government unrelated to the border safety situation shut down due to the wall standoff.
“If Leader McConnell tonight would put the bill that’s passing the House on the floor, it would pass,” Schumer stated, noting that the measures beforehand had been backed by Senate Republicans.
Congressional leaders from each events held unproductive talks with Trump on the White House on Wednesday and are to return for one more spherical on Friday, an indication the shutdown is more likely to proceed no less than for the remainder of the week.
After the November congressional elections, Republicans have a 53-47 majority in the Senate and Democrats have a 235-199 margin in the House with one seat undecided.
Trump made the wall – a challenge estimated to value about $23 billion – a key marketing campaign promise in 2016, saying Mexico would pay for it and arguing it’s wanted to fight unlawful immigration and drug trafficking. Democrats have referred to as the wall immoral, ineffective and medieval.
“No, no. Nothing for the wall,” Pelosi stated in an interview aired on Thursday on NBC’s “Today” present.
Credit ranking company Moody’s stated the shutdown would trigger minimal U.S. financial and credit score market disruption however there might be a extra extreme influence on monetary markets and the broad financial system if the closure is protracted.
Reporting by Richard Cowan, Ginger Gibson and Amanda Becker; Additional reporting by Lisa Lambert, Susan Cornwell and Susan Heavey; Writing by Will Dunham; Editing by Bill Trott and Peter Cooney