Trump bickers with top Democrats over border wall funding

13 December, 2018, 23:02 | Author: Jared Lewis
  • Whatever happened to trying to impeach President Donald Trump? As House Democrats begin laying out the vision for their new majority that item is noticeably missing from the to-do list and firmly on the margins

In a public argument, Trump bickered with US Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi about funding for the wall he has promised to build on the border with Mexico.

For the past two years, Pelosi has repeatedly said she had initially meant to retire after the 2016 elections but made a decision to stay on and continue leading House Democrats after Trump's upset victory.

Pentagon spokesman Jamie Davis said that while the military doesn't now have plans to build portions of a border wall, "Congress has provided options under Title 10 U.S. Code that could permit the Department of Defense to fund border barrier projects, such as in support of counter drug operations or national emergencies".

Trump had repeatedly threatened a government shutdown over the $5 billion he is demanding for his proposed border.

"Leader McConnell says he doesn't want a shutdown, but he refuses to engage with the president to tell him what's transparently obvious to everyone else".

The move is a stark reversal from Vela's position in late November, when House Democrats voted overwhelmingly to nominate Pelosi as their pick for speaker. "Go tell the press.' So I am", she added to reporters.

Vice president Mike Pence sat next to Mr Trump with a stony face as he remained silent during the exchange.

A closed-door meeting between President Donald Trump and congressional leaders lasted barely 30 minutes Tuesday after a heated televised opening session "spiraled downwards", in the words of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

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The agreement would be retroactive, meaning that the three top Democrats - Pelosi, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and assistant Democratic leader Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) - would be entering their third terms in January 2019.

The President's core support base is in favour of a border wall and at Tuesday's meeting, Mr. Trump projected himself as a defender of the wall at all costs.

Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan acknowledged today that the GOP-led House has yet to pass legislation that includes the NZ$7.2 billion in border wall funds that Mr Trump has been requesting.

"We wish to thank Nancy Pelosi for her willingness to work with us to reach this agreement", Vela and the others said.

She said the president had responded that she should inform the press because it would be news to them.

The meeting had started in a civil manner, with Trump calling it a "great honor" to have Schumer and Pelosi present, in their first meeting since Democrats took control of the House of Representatives.

"It's done", Schumer said.

But a defence department said later: "To date, there is no plan to build sections of the wall". The new Congress is sworn in January 3, and Pelosi is nominated for her second stint as speaker of the House and second in the line of presidential succession.

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