Democrats Push to End Shutdown Without Funding for Wall

AMY GOODMAN: The 116th Congress made history Thursday, swearing in the most diverse group of lawmakers ever—more than 100 women, including the first two Native American women, the first two Latina women from Texas, the first two Muslim women. The first-ever African-American women congressmembers from Connecticut and Massachusetts were sworn in, as was Colorado’s first-ever African-American member of Congress.

The first- and now second-ever female House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and House Democrats sought to end the government shutdown as their first order of business, passing a package of spending bills that would reopen the federal government without meeting Trump’s demand for $5 billion for expanding the wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI: What we’re asking the Republicans in the Senate to do is to take yes for an answer. We have sent—are sending them back exactly, word for word, what they have passed. … So, we’re just saying it: “Let’s make it easy for you. Do what you have already done: open up government. Let’s have an adult conversation about how we protect our borders. And let’s listen to people who know what they’re talking about.” …

The president cannot hold public employees hostage because he wants to have a wall, that is not effective, not effective in terms of its purpose, not cost-effective in terms of what the opportunity cost it is of federal dollars to spend. And the president has said Mexico is going to pay for this. Come on, let’s anchor ourselves into reality. Mexico is not going to pay for this wall.

AMY GOODMAN: The White House immediately threatened a veto. On Thursday, President Donald Trump held a surprise press briefing, where he didn’t take questions but continued his call for a border wall, surrounded by ICE and Border Patrol officials.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: You can call it a barrier. You can call it whatever you want. But,…

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