House passes bills to reopen government without wall money

Now must go to Senate; Trump has promised veto

House passes bill to reopen government

(Gray News) - The newly Democrat-controlled House passed separate bills Thursday night to fund the Department of Homeland Security, without money for a border wall that President Donald Trump has demanded, and eight other federal departments that have been closed by the partial government shutdown.

They are not, however, expected to end the shutdown.

The measures must be sent to the Senate, where Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Majority Leader, is not expected to bring them to the floor, with Trump vowing to veto any spending bill that reaches his desk without the roughly $5 billion he has asked for to fund a border wall.

“We’re not doing a wall. Does anyone have any doubt that we’re not doing a wall?” new House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, said after the vote.

Trump, earlier in the day, reinforced his position in the ongoing battle, making an impromptu appearance in the White House Press Room flanked by Border Patrol agents.

Trump: 'We're going to get lots of thing done' with Pelosi, new Congress

The president said he feels he has popular backing for a border wall.

“We need protection in our country,” Trump said. “We’re going to make it good. The people in our country want it. I have never had so much support as I have had in the last week over my stance for border security, for border control, and for, frankly, the wall or the barrier.”

Trump congratulated Pelosi at the start of his press conference and said there were “a lot of things we can get done together.”

“I think it’s going to work out, it’s going to be different than a lot of people are thinking,” he said.

Trump left the briefing without taking questions.

Afterward, a post was made to his Instagram account, featuring a meme of the president evoking the television show “Game of Thrones,” with the words, “The Wall is Coming.”

The impasse has shuttered nine federal agencies, including the Departments of State and Justice along with Homeland Security, since Dec. 22.

It has affected roughly 800,000 federal employees, who have been furloughed or, if their responsibilities have been deemed essential, are working without pay.

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