US House Democrats vote to end shutdown

Minnie Murray
January 5, 2019

Trump is under pressure from his supporters to not yield ground in this fight over the wall.

The shutdown has left 800,000 government workers unable to work or collect a salary.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Trump struck a different tone, calling the talks "productive" and saying that he believes leaders "have come a long way". The president threatened to keep nine USA departments closed "for a very long period of time - months or even years" - until he gets the funding, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said.

House Democrats on Thursday ignored a veto threat by the White House and passed a two-bill package that would reopen all federal agencies without the wall funding president has demanded.

Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi described the meeting as "lengthy and sometimes contentious" and said the parties "cannot resolve this until we open up government". Republicans in the Senate have pledged to only vote on measures that have Donald Trump's support - and the president continues to demand his border wall funding.

Mr Sherman and Mr Green pushed to impeach Mr Trump in 2017 and 2018 but the House blocked those resolutions twice, with the help of Democrats who said the effort was premature.

And while most Democrats in Congress, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, say they are waiting for the cases to play out before taking action, some aren't being so patient. "Americans elected an authoritarian, racist, anti-immigrant strongman to the nation's highest office", Georgia Democrat Hank Johnson said at an event this week, warning that Hitler "rode a wave of nationalism and anti-Semitism to power" and Trump had only replaced anti-Semitism with 'all Latinos crossing our borders are rapists, drug dealers and murderers'.

"I'm particularly proud to be a woman Speaker of the House of this Congress, which marks the 100th year of women having the right to vote", she said.

Trump said that while he may declare an emergency, if funding for the wall can be achieved through negotiations, he's giving that a shot. I may do it. McConnell, who went back to the Capitol, unaware of the press conference, said it was encouraging that the White House officials and the congressional contingent would meet over the weekend "to see if they can reach an agreement and then punt it back to us for final sign off". And it's another way of doing it.

Asked whether he had considered declaring a national emergency to build the wall, Trump said: "Yes, I have".

Trump's wall project is estimated to cost about US$23 billion.

New York's Ocasio-Cortez, who past year unseated the fourth highest-ranking House Democrat in a shock primary, told the CBS show "60 Minutes" that she wants U.S. tax rates to return to "as high as 60 or 70 percent" for the wealthiest Americans, in order to pay for an ambitious plan to fight climate change.

Credit rating agency Moody's says the shutdown will cause minimal United States economic and credit market disruption but there could be a more severe impact on financial markets and the broad economy if the closure is protracted.

A Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll last week showed that 50 per cent of the public blame Trump for the shutdown and seven per cent blame Republican lawmakers, while 32 per cent blame Democrats.

Earlier, Mr Trump responded to rumblings of a move by Democrats to impeach him, tweeting that he was too successful and popular to be impeached.

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