Democrats to Push Shutdown Halt That Trump Unlikely to Accept

Carlos Barria/Reuters

In their first action in control of the U.S. House of Representatives, Democrats plan to adopt a bill on Thursday to end a federal shutdown without funding a Mexican border wall, trying to firmly fasten blame for the 13-day-old closure on President Donald Trump and his Republicans.

Passage of the bill by the new Democratic majority was expected to occur shortly after Nancy Pelosi is elected speaker of the House, returning the liberal from San Francisco to one of Washington’s most powerful posts for a second time.

But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Wednesday his chamber, still in Republican hands, would not vote on the legislation, calling it a “political sideshow” and “total nonstarter.”

“We’re asking the president to open up government,” Pelosi told reporters outside the White House on Wednesday after another unproductive meeting with Trump on the matter. “We have given the Republicans a chance to take yes for an answer.”

The Democrats’ shutdown-halting bill closely resembles one that won overwhelming bipartisan support in the Senate, which Democratic leaders say will put the onus on Republicans to accept it or clearly own the shutdown.

Trump’s demand for $5 billion in funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border triggered the shutdown affecting about a quarter of the federal government and 800,000 federal workers.

McConnell said previously that Senate Republicans would not approve a spending measure Trump does not support. The Senate leader has been largely absent from discussions over the shutdown, deferring to the White House after Trump surprised him by rejecting his prior attempts to keep the government open without funding the wall.

The House proposal, which would fund most of the government through September and provide another month to negotiate wall funding, will more likely be a starting point for further negotiations in the new divided government.

Congressional leaders said they would return to the White House on Friday to resume talks with Trump, a sign that the government is likely to remain closed for the rest of the week.

Funding for about a quarter of the federal government expired on Dec. 22, closing “non-essential” operations at agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security, Energy and Commerce.

National parks have closed campgrounds for fear that toilets will overflow. Hundreds of thousands of federal employees are working without pay. The immigration courts, already overburdened, are largely shuttered.

While the first 12 days of the shutdown crept by quietly during the holiday season, Thursday will mark the changing of power in the House, in which the Democrats won a majority of seats in November’s elections, and a new dynamic, with Pelosi again central to moving any legislation through Congress.

(Reporting by Ginger Gibson and Amanda Becker; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Peter Cooney)

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TOM
Member

Leftist Reuters just can’t get the number of furloughed workers correct. There are less than 400,000 NOT 800,000 like they insist on reporting.

Jack Masterson
Member

To hell with the both of you assholes and if Mitch McConnell ever bring ? these two asswipes bring forward to the floor for consideration I promise you this, being from Kentucky myself will never ever vote for you again !! Both Shumer and Pelosi can rot in hell tell they work with the citizens of the country and not just New York and California ! There are over 350,000,000 people in this country and 2/3 of them want a fuking Wall, now build the damn wall !!

MariaRose Randazzo
Member

Love the way the Democrats are playing with words and not delivering any options, especially when they can’t seem to find funding for Homeland Security but they all have security guards around them paid by the taxpayers. I can make a bigger/better list of non-essential costs for them to cut, like all their administrative clerks and any of their paid perks we, the taxpayers are paying for.

Mark Schlesinger
Member

If those jobs are “nonessential “, why are we paying for them?

Rocky Drummond
Member

“The Senate leader has been largely absent from discussions over the shutdown, deferring to the White House after Trump surprised him by rejecting his prior attempts to keep the government open without funding the wall.”

That’s because McConnell, who he himself says does only politics not policy, wants to clean his hands of any fallout that would affect him or some other Republicans. Trump said that he would “own” the shutdown, so this is McConnell letting him own it.

deb
Member

I applaud our President! TRUMP 2020! KAG!

Cherl
Member

Remember the shutdown of 2013? Obama even cordoned off WWII memorials to antagonize, over a million people were affected and it latest for 17 days. Evidently stand their ground Pelosi and Schumer don’t. Trump was elected for his stand on illegal immigrants. When King Obama was president both of them voted in favor of more security for a lot more money! Why is that so difficult for these two putzes? Could it be their continued anger over Hillary’s loss.

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