WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats unveiled a package of bills Monday that would re-open the federal government without approving funding for President Donald Trump’s border wall with Mexico, establishing an early confrontation that will test the new power dynamic in Washington.
The House is preparing to vote as soon as the new Congress convenes Thursday, as one of the first acts after Democrats take control, according to an aide who was not authorized to discuss the plan and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Democrats under Nancy Pelosi are all but certain to swiftly approve the two bills, making good on their pledge to try to quickly resolve the partial government shutdown that’s now in its second week. What’s unclear is whether the Republican-led Senate, under Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., will consider either measure — or if Trump would sign them into law.
“It would be the height of irresponsibility and political cynicism for Senate Republicans to now reject the same legislation they have already supported,” Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement late Monday.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The package does not include the $5 billion Trump wants for the wall on the southern border.
The president told Fox News Channel in an interview Monday that he was “ready, willing and able” to negotiate. He added: “No, we are not giving up. We have to have border security and the wall is a big part of border security.”
McConnell spokesman Donald Stewart made it clear Senate Republicans will not take action without Trump’s backing.