Trump digs in on wall during surprise appearance at White House briefing

April FrancisJan 04, 2019

Battle-tested Nancy Pelosi was poised to take over as speaker of the House for the second time in her career, as a partial federal government shutdown over Trump's insistence that lawmakers fund a US-Mexico border wall neared the two-week mark. Congress and the president are at an impasse over funding for Trump's pet project, a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border. Patrick Leahy, the top Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee, who urged them to move forward with the bipartisan Senate-approved measures.

McConnell has said Senate Republicans will not approve a spending measure that Trump does not support.

The House and Senate convene on Thursday at noon local time (Friday, 1am Singapore time), with the new Congress sworn in shortly thereafter.

"We're asking the president to open up government", Pelosi said.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the House GOP leader, told reporters on January 2 that top Democrats attending a security briefing at the White House on Wednesday didn't want to listen to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

The Democrats' package to end the shutdown would include one bill to temporarily fund Homeland Security at current levels.

"But I'm here, I want to do it right", Trump said.

After the Democrats become the majority party in the House on Thursday, Pelosi plans to bring legislation to the floor that would provide funding for the government but not for a border wall. The Republicans hold a 53-47 edge in the upper chamber and 60 votes are needed to pass legtislation compared with a majority vote in the house. "I've spent a whole career infiltrating places and, you know, when we come up upon a wall, it matters", he said during an appearance on Fox News.

"No, we are not giving up", Trump added. "Why would he not do it?"

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The top-ranking House Democrat said she would not rule out impeachment proceedings, but she would wait until Mueller presented his findings in the Russian Federation investigation.

The session did not yield any breakthroughs, and Democrats said they remained committed to introducing the legislation Thursday.

She was equally equivocal speaking on Today: "We shouldn't be impeaching for a political reason, and we shouldn't avoid impeachment for a political reason".

This would allow negotiations over Trump's request for $5 billion for a border wall to continue while the rest of the government would continue operating. "Our question to the president and to the Republicans is: why don't you accept what you have already done to open up government and that enables us to have 30 days to negotiate border security?"

"He could not give a good answer", Schumer said.

Federal courts have blocked Trump's effort to end a program begun in 2012 under Democratic former President Barack Obama that protected the Dreamers, who were brought into the United States as children, from deportation and gave them work permits.

"Border Security and the Wall "thing" and Shutdown is not where Nancy Pelosi wanted to start her tenure as Speaker!"

Trump listens as Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, talks about border security.

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