Published: Thu, January 03, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Pres. Trump holds cabinet meeting amid partial government shutdown

Pres. Trump holds cabinet meeting amid partial government shutdown

Should Nancy Pelosi take over the speakership, as is expected this month, she will have to negotiate with President Donald Trump over a government funding bill.

The House Democrats' measure does not contain the $5 billion Trump wants for the wall - one of his key campaign promises - and sets up the first major battle of the new Congress between House Democrats led by Pelosi and Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

"I don't think any particular progress was made today, but we talked all aspects of it and it was a civil discussion", McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said on the Senate floor after the meeting.

The president said his Homeland Security officials will "make a plea" for the border wall during a briefing for congressional leaders later Wednesday at the White House. He called the border a "sieve", rebutted Democratic complaints that a wall was immoral, provided an estimate of the USA illegal immigrant population far higher than the figures most experts cite and made disputed comments about progress toward building a wall. And Senator Lamar Alexander, R, in a separate op-ed, wrote that Trump should act more like former President Barack Obama did in 2015 and proactively seek a bipartisan solution to the shutdown.

The $5 billion Trump is seeking would cover only a portion of the money needed for a border wall, a project estimated to cost about $23 billion.

"The time for political games is over", Scalise said in an opinion piece for Fox News. Kamala Harris (D) and Dianne Feinstein (D) took the time to tweet and speak out against the border wall and in favor of illegal immigrants. "And that is why on January 3rd, when the new Democratic House majority arrives, we will bring the hope, vision and goals of effective governance back to the forefront". We're giving him a Republican path to do that.

Yet as the shutdown moves through its 10th day, it is clear that the House Democrats' plan to take the first legislative action since the start of the shuttering of roughly a quarter of the federal government remains a nonstarter for Republicans, who still control the chamber on the other side of the US Capitol.

Congress will feature the largest number of progressive lawmakers in many years, and they appear to be in no mood to appease a president who is standing firm on his pursuit of funding for a wall on the southern border with Mexico.

And there were growing signs that members of the Republican Party did not support Trump's approach. "So imaginative! The problem is, without a Wall there can be no real Border Security".

The draft may not pass the Republican-held Senate, but it will form part of a Democratic blueprint heading into the 2020 presidential election year.

Even if only symbolic, the passage of the bills in the House would put fresh pressure on the President.

The partial government shutdown began on December 22.

The second false point in Trump's Twitter post Wednesday is his statement that "much of the Wall has already been fully renovated or built".

It would also include another measure to fund the departments of Agriculture, Interior, Housing and Urban Development and others closed by the partial shutdown. It would provide money through the remainder of the fiscal year, to September 30.

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