WASHINGTON — There will be no grace period for Rep. Nancy Pelosi when she takes the reins of the House on Thursday, as she comes to power amid a standoff with President Trump that has no end in sight.
One of the first acts the new House will take after the San Francisco Democrat’s expected election as speaker will be to approve funding bills to end a partial government shutdown that began Dec. 22. The bills contain no funding for Trump’s proposed wall along the Mexican border, however, and because of that they are unlikely even to come to a vote in the Republican-controlled Senate. The president has made clear he won’t settle for anything less than $5.6 billion for the barrier.
The Democratic bills would fund through September most of the one-quarter of government that is without money. The exception would be the Department of Homeland Security, which the Democrats would fund for a month while negotiators try to hash out a longer-term deal over border security.
The bills would draw from a package that the Senate passed last month, before Trump pulled support for it and plunged Washington into limbo.
Pelosi and other congressional leaders emerged from a White House meeting with Trump on Wednesday without making “any particular progress,” as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell put it.
“We have given the Republicans a chance to take ‘yes’ for an answer,” Pelosi told reporters. “We’re asking the president to open up government. We are giving him a Republican path to do that — why would he not do it?”