The new Congress convened on Thursday with Democratic Party Leader Nancy Pelosi elected as Speaker of the House quickly pass legislation to re-open government but without funds for Trump’s barrier wall.
“There is no amount of persuasion he can use” to get her to fund his wall, she said in an interview airing on Thursday. She added, “we can go through this back and forth. No. How many more times can we say no?”
The White House has rejected the Democratic Package and insisted that the partial shut down of government was put in place to achieve approval for the funding of a barrier wall along the US-Mexico border.
The Democratic Package to end the partial shutdown would include a bill to temporarily fund the Department of Homeland Security at current levels with $1.3 billion for border security as opposed to the $5.6 billion Donald Trump wants. It would also include a separate measure to fund the departments of Agriculture, Interior, Housing and Urban Development and others closed by the shutdown.
The partial shutdown began on Dec. 22 making it a total of 13 days and still counting, consequentially closing down parks and leaving hundreds of thousands of federal employees without pay.
Donald Trump admitted that the partial shut down would “last as long as it takes” as long as he gets the funding he needs. “Could be a long time and could end quickly,” he said, in a Cabinet meeting.
When pressed in private on Wednesday by Democrats asking why he wouldn’t end the shutdown, he responded at one point “I would look foolish if I did that.” A White House official, one of two people who described that exchange only on anonymity, said the president had been trying to explain that it would be foolish not to pay for border security.