House Democrats Approve Measure to End Government Shutdown, Do Not Allot Funding for Donald Trump's Border Wall

House Democrats approved Thursday night a spending package to reopen the partially closed government that did not include any funding for President Donald Trump's border wall.

In a series of mostly party-line votes, the new Democratic majority passed a measure that would fund the Department of Homeland Security at current levels through February 8, The Associated Pressreported. The bill passed 239-192.

A separate bill would fund the Departments of Agriculture and Interior and other agencies through September 30. That bill passed 241-190.

The government has been in a partial shutdown since Dec. 22, largely over demands by the White House and Republican allies on Capitol Hill that any 2019 spending bill include $5 billion for a wall along the southwest border. Democrats have refused that demand, and the then-GOP controlled House rejected a Senate bill that did not include wall funding, which forced the shutdown.

After Thursday night's vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on Trump and Senate Republicans to "take yes for an answer" and approve the homeland security bill. She noted that it was almost the same bill as a proposal the Senate approved on a voice vote last month.

"We're not doing a wall," Pelosi told reporters at a news conference Thursday night, according to the AP. "Does anyone have any doubt that we're not doing a wall?"

Trump has signaled he would veto any spending bill that did not include money for a border barrier. In a surprise appearance at Thursday afternoon's White House press conference, Trump reiterated his demands for wall funding, saying "without a wall you cannot have border security.

"You can call it a barrier, you can call it whatever you want," Trump said, flanked by leaders of the unions representing Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. "But essentially we need protection in our country. We're going to make it good. The people of our country want it."

Earlier Thursday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer asked Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to put the House Democrats' spending bill up for a vote in the upper chamber. Trump would see the "sweet light of reason" if the measure was passed by the Senate sent to his desk, Schumer said.

McConnell responded that Schumer's idea was a "total nonstarter" and a waste of time. The Senate wouldn't vote on the spending bills because they don't include increases for border security, the Kentucky Republican said

House Democrats Approve Measure to End Government Shutdown, Do Not Allot Funding for Donald Trump's Border Wall | U.S.
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