Democrats Pass Bill To Reopen Government, Shutdown Continues

Posted January 07, 2019

Nancy Pelosi was officially elected the new House speaker on Thursday in a majority vote by the House of Representatives on the first day of the 116th Congress.

House Democrats vowed to press ahead on Thursday with plans to pass a legislative package that would reopen shuttered parts of the federal government without providing any new money for President Donald Trump's promised border wall - despite a White House veto threat.

He dismissed suggestions that the impeachment talk distracts from the fight over the partial government shutdown, where Democrats are clashing with Trump over funding for a southern border wall.

The partial United States government shutdown began when Congress and Mr Trump failed to reach an agreement over a budget bill in December.

That includes $12 billion in new money for foreign aid, $2 billion in funding Mr. Trump doesn't want to see in the Environmental Protection Agency and $7.1 billion he says isn't needed in the Housing and Urban Development Department.

The House strategy could allow Senate Republicans to pass legislation that would reopen most of the government while setting aside the debate over the border wall.

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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.

The Democrats who control the House passed the bills that would fund the departments of State, Commerce, Agriculture, Labor, Treasury and other agencies through September 30, the end of the current fiscal year. That expected barrage of investigations could bog down a White House already besieged by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation collusion probe. It passed on a 239-192 vote, with five House Republicans backing it.

Top House Republican Kevin McCarthy said divided government was "no excuse for gridlock or inaction", before handing the gavel to Pelosi, who was elected with 220 votes in a free-wheeling session that included children scampering in the chamber. It's a very, very great achievement, and hopefully we're going to work together and we're going to get lots of things done, like infrastructure and so much more, he said.

Tlaib reportedly closed out her remarks at the reception by telling a cheering crowd "We're gonna impeach the motherf***er!"

Republicans now have a majority in the Senate, and majority leader Mitch McConnell has said Republicans there would not back measures that Mr Trump did not support.

"Let's not waste the time", he said on the Senate floor.

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And the Democrats wasted no time flexing their new power in the House.

As speaker, Pelosi will face challenges from the party's robust wing of liberal newcomers, including 29-year-old New Yorker Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has risen to such prominence she is already known around the Capitol - and on her prolific social media accounts - by the nickname "AOC".

The partial government shutdown began on December 22. "We have given the Republicans a chance to take yes for an answer".

Democrats won the majority of the House in the November mid-term elections, and the new representatives were sworn in on Thursday. Yeah, one dollar. The fact is a wall is an immorality.

"We're talking about border security", Pelosi said in an interview with Today on January 3.

More than a year before she ran for Congress, Tlaib made headlines for being thrown out of an event in MI where Trump was speaking.

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