Newly empowered House Dems pass funding plan without wall

Evan Vucci  APPresident Donald Trump speaks in the press briefing room at the White House Jan. 3 2019 in Washington

"Whatever you want to call it", Trump said as senior Democrats refuse to agree to any partial government shutdown-ending package that would specifically allocate funds for a "wall".

Trump is demanding billions of dollars to build his wall along the US border with Mexico, which the Democrats have refused.

As the government shutdown enters its 13th day and pressure mounts on Trump to compromise somehow, one has to wonder whether his flattery of Rep. Pelosi or his case could be heard at all over the roar of laughter. Our reporter in Washington, Harry Horton has more.

There's also the possibility that lawmakers return to an old deal, trading wall money for an extension of the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals immigration program.

On Thursday Democratic committee chairs - newly vested with subpoena power - began to lay out their plans to investigate President Trump and his administration.

That means almost a dozen Democrats from Trump districts voted for Pelosi: Reps.

Congressional leaders from both parties met with Trump at the White House Wednesday, but failed to make progress during their first sit-down in weeks.

"It's too important a subject to walk away from". In excerpts of the speech she delivers to the House later Thursday, Pelosi vowed the new Congress would be "bipartisan and unifying" and "will debate and advance good ideas no matter where they come from".

While they're dealing with government funding and the ongoing shutdown, sending legislation to the Senate to reopen several agencies despite President Donald Trump's veto threat, Democrats believe they can balance oversight and advance policy priorities.

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Meanwhile, House Democrats prepared to pass a plan to re-open government without funding Trump's signature promise.

Democrats also approved a separate measure to fund the departments of Agriculture, Interior, Housing and Urban Development and others closed by the partial shutdown, at levels Senate Republicans had largely agreed to a year ago.

"Essentially, we need protection in our country", said Trump, who maintains that criminals, gang members and drugs pour over the border.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speak to the media ahead of a possible partial government shut down in Washington, U.S., December 20, 2018. "I mean, there's a wall between Tijuana and San Diego, right?" And when your son looks at you and says, 'Momma, look you won. He then left without taking any questions. The bill would provide for the direct election of the president and vice president and is, if anything, even less likely to pass than an impeachment resolution. That expected barrage of investigations could bog down a White House already besieged by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation collusion probe.

Pelosi has framed the measures as a "Republican" solution to the impasse, because they mirror the spending bill the GOP-controlled Senate unanimously passed and sent to the House last month, before Trump reversed course and insisted that any funding bill include wall money.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has also pledged to block the measures from a vote in the upper chamber.

He was asked about the impact of the shutdown on the 800,000 federal workers who are furloughed or working without pay during the shutdown.

"He doesn't own the shutdown any longer". Most Democratic lawmakers campaigned on kitchen table issues such as health care and jobs and prefer to keep them at the forefront of the party's focus.

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