Pelosi elected speaker, will lead Dems confronting Trump
05 January, 2019, 09:59 | Author: Emmett Rice
Emerging from a meeting with President Donald Trump on Day 14 of a partial government shutdown Friday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, flanked by other Democratic leaders, said there was still no deal on a spending bill to end the shutdown.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office said he would attend the briefing, which is set for Wednesday.
After Democratic congressional leaders refused Trump's requests at a meeting in the White House Situation Room, the Republican president threatened to take the controversial step of declaring a national emergency and building the wall without congressional approval. As a result, around 800,000 public workers have been unpaid, with about a quarter of the federal government closed for two weeks.
Congress has adjourned until Tuesday, meaning the shutdown will last into next week. In fact, no construction of the border wall that he's demanded funding for has been started, much less completed.
In a December 11 meeting with Pelosi and Schumer, Trump said he would be "proud" to shut the government over the security issue and would not blame Democrats.
Rep. Jim Cooper did not vote for Nancy Pelosi when she was elected as Speaker of the House on Thursday.
Trump triggered the shutdown, which began on December 22, by insisting that $5 billion in funding for the border wall be part of any spending measure.
According to Trump, the immigration problem is so dire that he would be able to grant himself emergency powers and, consequently, build the wall "very quickly", thus superseding Congress' decision to block the $5 billion budget request. During his run for the White House, Trump insisted Mexico would pay for the wall.
The second part of the package would fund federal agencies that are now unfunded, such as the Justice, Commerce and Transportation departments, through September 30, the end of the federal fiscal year.
The U.S. Constitution assigns Congress the power to fund the federal government, so Trump likely would face legal challenges if he tried to bypass Congress on financing the wall. McConnell has said Senate Republicans will not approve a spending measure not supported by Trump.
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