Nancy Pelosi elected as Speaker of the US House of Representatives

The House passed two measures that would re-open government agencies whose funding had lapsed, but provide no money for a border wall demanded by President Donald Trump.

But Democrats contended the GOP should back the spending measures, because the Republican-controlled Senate or its committees voted overwhelmingly to pass them before the president reversed course and announced his opposition in December to any plan that lacked border wall funds.

The comments from Senators Cory Gardner of Colorado and Susan Collins of ME - the only Senate Republicans running for reelection in states Trump lost - pointed to cracks within the GOP that could grow as the shutdown nears the two-week mark.

"I think we're going to be dug in for a while", the North Carolina Republican said.

On Thursday, the Democrats officially took control of the House, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi insisted it was up to Trump to end the shutdown.

The House first passed a bill 239-192 to reopen the Department of Homeland Security with a continuing resolution lasting through February 8. She was forced to navigate simmering party unease that saw dozens of House Democrats and candidates signalling a desire for change at the top.

So far, she has spoken out against using such a powerful political cudgel against him, arguing that the explosive step would likely mobilize Republican voters eager to protect the president. And Republican Susan Collins of ME said she saw "no reason why the bills that are ready to go and on which we've achieved an agreement should be held hostage to this debate over border security". "Why would they not do that?" -Mexican border wall - opposed by Democrats - as part of any legislation funding government agencies.

McConnell has dismissed the idea as a "total nonstarter" and a waste of time.

One Democrat, Rep. Brenda Lawrence of MI, cast her vote for Pelosi "on the shoulders of women who marched 100 years ago" for women's suffrage. And banks and credit unions that cater to federal workers are readying financial help for their customers as the government shutdown drags on.

Comments from the most politically vulnerable members of McConnell's caucus suggested discomfort with the majority leader's approach, and a desire for a quick resolution to the shutdown.

"I pledge that this Congress will be transparent, bipartisan and unifying, that we will seek to reach across the aisle (to the other party) in this chamber and across divisions across our nation", Pelosi said.

It has since been viewed more than 8 million times.

"The Shutdown is only because of the 2020 Presidential Election", Trump wrote on Twitter.

On Thursday evening, the White House issued a veto threat against the legislation ahead of the expected House vote.

But Democrats have said they don't want medieval barriers, and Pelosi has called Trump's proposed wall along the U.S. -Mexico border immoral. The package would fund the rest of the federal government, with the exception of the Department of Homeland Security.

Trump has invited the top eight congressional leaders in both parties to the White House Friday to continue negotiations, after hosting them Wednesday for a border security "briefing" that yielded no progress.

"We're not doing a wall", Pelosi said emphatically. We're not doing a wall.

"The president made it clear, we're here to make a deal", Vice President Mike Pence told Fox News late Thursday.

The shutdown has lasted 13 days without any signs of compromise or earnest negotiations, with Democrats largely unifying and a number of Republicans flummoxed over Trump's strategy.

Those employees, though, are about to miss their first paychecks.

But the Republican-led Senate appears unlikely to consider the Democratic funding bills. "Their mental anguish and anxiety is bad enough. I could never have dreamed that 23 years later I would return to the same airport with my daughter Ilhan by my side, the day before she is to be sworn in as the first Somali American elected to the United States Congress". He claimed "Mexico is paying for the wall" through a replacement of the North American Free Trade Agreement. When Cooper pressed on how she could possibly pay for the deal, she pointed to the progressive tax rate system in the 1960s, explaining that if you earn 0 to $75,000 a year, you would only pay 10% or 15% in income tax. "That's probably the end of his presidency".

Interested in Donald Trump?

Funding for the wall has been the sticking point in passing funding bills for several government departments.

  • Jon Douglas