Pelosi all but assured of becoming House speaker

14 December, 2018, 01:06 | Author: Courtney Perry
  • Trump, top democrats openly spar in oval office over border wall

US President Donald Trump repeatedly threatened a government shutdown over funding for his proposed border wall in a budget row with top Democrats.

'I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck, because the people of this country don't want criminals and people that have lots of problems and drugs pouring into our country, ' Trump continued. Democrats in 2013 led the charge to overhaul the nation's immigration laws, an effort that would have bolstered border security measures but which stalled because of opposition from Republicans who controlled the House.

Democrats have said they want to scrutinize Trump's tax returns to see whether he has any conflicts of interest.

The Post whip count indicates there are still up to 16 Democrats who oppose Pelosi but, assuming everyone votes, she can lose up to 17 votes and still become Speaker. When Trump invited reporters and cameras into his private meeting with Pelosi and Schumer, Democrats played on his turf: Taunting, goading and lecturing the president, Pelosi and Schumer made clear they intend to use their seats at the table to give the president a taste of what he's been serving since taking office.

During his bid for the presidency and for some time after winning it, Trump promised that Mexico would pay for the wall. The next big question now is what House GOP leaders, in their final days in the majority, will do to kick the legislative process into gear.

"We're not going to $5 billion for the wall".

Pelosi also said she prays Trump will "resist" a government shutdown. It seemed for a moment as though they might agree on funding for "border security" - but that linguistic pirouette disappeared beneath an onslaught of acrimony.

"If we close the country, I will take it because we're closing it down for border security and I think I win that every single time", Trump said later.


With the 51 Republicans needing 60 votes to pass the package, Democrats refused to support it as they demanded help for "Dreamers" - more than 700,000 immigrants who entered the USA illegally as children.

Under the deal struck, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has agreed to limit her service in the top post to no more than two more terms - or four additional years. "We simply are not", she said. The new limits would apply retroactively to Pelosi as well as incoming Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland and incoming Majority Whip Jim Clyburn of SC.

"Yes, we do", Schumer said.

Schumer said Wednesday Trump wanted to hold the government "hostage to a petty campaign pledge" to build a wall to "fire up" his political base.

Hours before the meeting, Mr Trump tweeted that "the Military will build the remaining sections of the Wall".

After Mrs Pelosi said they should "call a halt to this", Mr Trump said: "It's not bad, Nancy - it's called transparency".

Trump and Republicans are demanding $5 billion for the border, while Democrats say they can not agree to give more than $1.3 billion.

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