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Shutdown Continues as Democrats Take Back the House

07 January 2019
Shutdown Continues as Democrats Take Back the House

To become Speaker requires the support of a majority of all members of the House who are present and voting, a threshold that could be as high as 218 votes.

Democratic congressional leaders said they will head to the White House Friday at 11:30 am (1430 GMT) in a bid to break the impasse, but lawmakers have warned the shutdown could extend for several more days, even weeks.

The standoff also prompted economic jitters and anxiety among some in Trump's own party. In remarks to reporters that same day, Trump said: "You can call it a barrier". "I don't call it a shutdown". Asked how people would manage without a financial safety net, he declared: "The safety net is going to be having a strong border because we're going to be safe".

Complicating matters for the White House, McConnell has distanced himself from the discussions since Trump turned on the spending bill passed by the Senate last month, which enraged some Republicans who had voted for the measure believing that they had Trump's backing. As House speaker, Pelosi will regularly face off against President Donald Trump.

President Donald Trump listens to Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, speak about border security in the briefing room at the White House in Washington, on January 3, 2019. A White House official, one of two people who described that exchange only on condition of anonymity, said the president had been trying to explain that it would be foolish not to pay for border security.

In light of the newly divided government, Thursday's votes set down a legislative marker for the House of Representatives, but did not produce a bipartisan resolution to the border wall stalemate or bring the shutdown any closer to its end.

Mr Trump asserted it was essential to keep out illegal immigrants, amid a row over its funding which has led to a partial government shutdown in the US. "We will have no deal without a wall", he said.

"So this meeting was set up a long time ago", Trump said.

Some GOP senators up for re-election in 2020 voiced discomfort with the shutdown in recent days, including Cory Gardner of Colorado and Susan Collins of ME, putting additional pressure on Republicans. He then left without taking any questions. He has maintained a demand for $5.7 billion - while the Democrats lowered their offer from under $2 billion to nothing.

But the realities of the shutdown are just starting to hit.

During his free-wheeling session with reporters, Trump also wrongly claimed that he'd never called for the wall to be concrete.

During her campaign, Tlaib made clear that once in Congress she was going to push for impeachment against Trump. The first time I've done it, and I've done it for you (the National Border Patrol Council members). "Makes sense to me!", he tweeted on December 31.

Trump tweeted Thursday morning that the shutdown could be explained by the 2020 presidential election and Democratic efforts to stall his administration, citing the showdown as an example of "presidential harassment".

But Republicans who control the Senate say they won't take it up without Trump on board.

Though some Senate Republicans broke with Trump and leadership Thursday, others cautioned about what would happen if he caved on his signature promise.

"We're asking the President to open up government", she told the Today show before the first session of the new House. A handful of Republicans broke ranks on each measure to vote "yes" with the Democrats.