US House democrats vote to reopen govt, reject Trump wall money
Washington: The US House of Representatives has passed a spending package to end the partial government shutdown without paying for President Donald Trump’s border wall.
However, US President, Donald Trump has said he will reject any measure that does not provide $5 billion in funding for his wall on the Mexican border.
Newly-elected House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said no funding for the wall would be made available, according to a report.
The first bill passed by the House on Thursday in a 239-192 vote was a continuing resolution funding the Department of Homeland Security through February 8 that would not allocate any new funding for the wall.
The House later voted 241-190 to approve funds for six agencies, including Departments of State, Commerce, Agriculture, Labor, Treasury and other agencies through September 30, the end of the current fiscal year.
Democrats say that Trump was holding government funding hostage for the wall, which they feel was “unnecessary and ineffective”.
Congressional leaders from both parties were expected to meet the President for another round of budget talks at the White House on Friday.
The Republican-run Senate has said it may not even vote on the legislation. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said Republicans will not back measures that Trump does not support and called the Democrats’ move a “total non-starter” and a “political sideshow”.
However, the Vice President, Mike Pence had made it very clear that “if there’s no wall, there’s no deal” to end the partial government shutdown during an interview with media.
While he expressed openness to negotiating an end to the shutdown, the wall was the main point in his interview: “We are here to make a deal, but it’s a deal that’s going to result in achieving real gains. … We will have no deal without a wall,” Pence said.
The White House had issued a veto threat against the legislation ahead of the expected Democrat-controlled House vote.