Shutdown Continues as Democrats Take Back the House

Shutdown Continues as Democrats Take Back the House

Republican Senator 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".

Women will make up a record one in four members of Congress, with 102 women set to serve in the incoming House of Representatives.

Things were more sedate on the Senate side, where Vice President Mike Pence conducted the swearing in for the chamber's nine new members.

A quick end to the stalemate does not appear to be in sight as Democrats, who now control the House of Representatives, seem in no mood to make concessions to the United States president.

Pelosi hasn't ruled out impeachment but has called it a "divisive activity" that would need support from both parties.

Along with her husband, Paul, and family, her other guests included singer Tony Bennett, Project Runway host Tim Gunn, Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart, and EMILY'S List founder Ellen Malcolm, among others.

While the party elders, from Nancy Pelosi on down, are preaching restraint and patience with their newly gained power, the rank and file may have different ideas.

And as Donald Trump has discovered lately she is a formidable force.

Pelosi, who brought several of her grandchildren to the session, invited all little ones up to the House rostrum. Said Trump: "I hope it doesn't go on even beyond a few more days".

But one by one Pelosi won over her sceptics, flipping "no" votes to the "yes" column. "You've got to give her credit, no matter what you think of her".

The House voted straight away to start the process of ending the shutdown.

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And then in line with his recent attempts to show flexibility, he added, "Without a very strong form of barrier - call it what you will - but without a wall, you can not have border security".

Rashida Tlaib, with her obscenity laced call for the president's impeachment Thursday night, only drives that point home.

Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., who introduced articles of impeachment against Trump previous year, told the Los Angeles Times on Thursday that he plans to re-introduce the measure, accusing Trump of obstruction of justice in the firing of then FBI Director James Comey.

Under the Constitution, presidents can be impeached and removed from office for "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors".

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Mr Trump has denied that his campaign colluded with Moscow.

On Thursday Pelosi said Trump and Senate Republicans should "take yes for an answer" and approve the propose border bill, adding: "We're not doing a wall".

Democrats are only willing to provide $US1.3 billion for border security, including a fence rather than a wall. Building a wall - and having Mexico pay for it - was one of Trump's main promises when he ran for president in 2016.

The government has been partially shutdown for 14 days, since Trump refused to sign spending legislation that didn't include US$5 billion to continue construction of a wall on the USA border with Mexico - his top campaign promise.

"Whenever Congress looks like America, it performs better", a beaming two-term Democrat Raja Krishnamoorthi, himself an immigrant from India, told AFP.

"Not my fault. It was Nancy's".

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