President Donald Trump kicked off the New Year going after Democrats for bills that Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives are planning to vote on Thursday when they take control of the House that ends the partial government shutdown but does not include any funding for a border wall.
“The Democrats, much as I suspected, have allocated no money for a new Wall. So imaginative! The problem is, without a Wall there can be no real Border Security - and our Country must finally have a Strong and Secure Southern Border!” Trump wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.
“One thing has now been proven,” Trump wrote in another tweet on Tuesday. “The Democrats do not care about Open Borders and all of the crime and drugs that Open Borders bring!”
It was reported on Monday that House Democrats prepared a legislative package that would reopen the federal government and plan to vote on the legislation on Thursday when Congress returns and the new congressional session begins.
The legislative package includes one bill that funds the U.S. Department of Homeland Security through Feb. 8 providing the department with $1.3 billion for border security measures only. The second piece of the package funds the remaining federal agencies affected by the partial shutdown through the end of the government’s fiscal year which ends Sept. 30.
“While President Trump drags the nation into Week Two of the Trump Shutdown and sits in the White House and tweets, without offering any plan that can pass both chambers of Congress, Democrats are taking action to lead our country out of this mess,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D. NY, and Rep. Pelosi said in a joint statement published on Monday.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D. CA, who is expected to be voted in as the next Speaker of the House on Thursday after securing her party’s nomination for the position, will bring the legislation up for a vote on Thursday and have the House vote on the two packages separately.
The partial shutdown began on Dec. 22 impacting about a quarter of the federal government’s agencies and about 800,000 federal employees over the issue of border wall funding.
The U.S. Senate initially unanimously passed a continuing resolution on Dec. 19 that funded the government through Feb. 8, but President Trump said he would not support a CR that did not include $5 billion for border wall construction funding.
As a result, the House passed an amended CR that included $5.7 billion for the border wall on Dec. 20, but that measure stalled when it went back to the Senate due to the Senate failing to muster enough support for it to pass.
Funding/spending bills require 60 votes to pass in the Senate. With Senate Republicans only holding a narrow majority of 51-49, they required at least nine Senate Democrats to support the measure for it to pass. Democrats have so far remained firm to not support any piece of legislation that includes border wall construction funding, referring to a border wall as “expensive” and “ineffective.”
“The President is using the government shutdown to try to force an expensive and ineffective wall upon the American people, but Democrats have offered two bills which separate the arguments over the wall from the government shutdown,” Schumer and Pelosi said in their joint statement.
Since the partial shutdown began, President Trump cancelled his trip to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida in hopes of Congress making a deal to reopen the government that included border wall funding.
At one point, the Trump administration lowered its border wall funding demands from $5 billion to just over $2 billion, but Democrats neither refused the offer nor provided a counter offer. Instead Democratic Party leaders have remained firm on allowing no more than $1.3 billion for border security measures.
Despite Democratic efforts to pass bills in the House to end the shutdown, the legislation is unlikely to pass in the Senate, which will remain under Republican control in 2019. Key Republican Senators backing President Trump have stated this week that the Senate will not vote on a bill that does not include border wall funding.