First Pelosi led sitting passes ‘US $ 1 for a wall’ plan to re-open government

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On their first day in the majority, House Democrats on Thursday night passed a plan to re-open the government without funding President Donald Trump’s promised border wall.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Trump and Senate Republicans should “take yes for an answer” and approve the border bill, which was virtually identical to a plan the Senate adopted on a voice vote last month. “We’re not doing a wall. Does anyone have any doubt that we’re not doing a wall?” Pelosi told reporters at a news conference Thursday night.

Trump is demanding billions of dollars to build his wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, which the Democrats have refused. Asked if she would give Trump $1 for a wall to reopen the government, Pelosi said: “One dollar? Yeah, one dollar. The fact is a wall is an immorality. It’s not who we are as a nation.”

Pelosi, who was elected speaker earlier Thursday, also took a shot a Trump, calling his proposal “a wall between reality and his constituents.”

She wasted no time in doing so on Thursday, hours after being sworn in. The late-night, nearly party-line votes on reopening the government began a pattern in an era of divided control, with a Democratic House passing legislation that has no chance of being signed by the Republican president, and the Republican Senate running interference to protect Mr. Trump. The White House had also issued an official statement threatening a veto.

“Let’s not waste the time,” said Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader.

The largely party-line votes came after Trump made a surprise appearance at the White House briefing room pledging to keep up the fight for his signature campaign promise.

Mr. Trump used his abrupt appearance in the White House briefing room — his first since taking office — to talk about the importance of the wall; he was flanked by border agents who echoed his message.

Reporters were told Thursday that White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders would be holding a hastily called late afternoon briefing. Instead, out walked Trump, flanked by members of the unions that represent border patrol and immigration enforcement agents. It was his first time delivering remarks at the briefing room podium.

“You can call it a barrier, you can call it whatever you want,” Trump said. “But essentially we need protection in our country. We’re going to make it good. The people of our country want it.”

Trump said his meeting with the union officials had long been planned and just happened to come at “a very opportune time.” He also claimed his refusal to budge was winning praise, telling reporters, “I have never had so much support as I have in the last week over my stance for border security.”

Polls show a majority of Americans oppose the border wall, although Republicans strongly support it.

NYT/France 24

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