nancy-pelosi

Dug-in Trump to Dems: ‘Only a wall will work’ as shutdown enters 25th day
President contends polls shifting toward him, but one shows he didn’t change any minds with address

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence arrive at the Capitol to attend a Senate Republican policy luncheon last week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A day after appearing to downplay the stature of his proposed southern border wall, President Donald Trump sent a message to congressional Democratic leaders: “Only a wall will work” as a partial government shutdown over his demands enters its 25th day.

Trump sent mixed messages about his proposed border wall during a Monday speech to an agriculture conference in New Orleans. After first saying he would not “back down” on his wall demands, he appeared to downplay the proposal among his full collection of 2016 campaign promises.

The border wall blitz, brought to you by Donald Trump and Mike Pence
Dramatic week ends with president touting barrier of ‘steel that has concrete inside’

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence arrive to the Capitol to on Wednesday to urge Senate Republicans to hold the line on his proposed southern border wall and a record-tying partial government shutdown. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Eager to shift public opinion in favor of taxpayers funding a southern border wall as part of any legislation to reopen a quarter of the federal government, the White House has deployed its top guns, President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, on a public relations blitz.

Several polls show about half of Americans blame the president for the shutdown, while around 35 percent blame Democrats. What’s more, Trump’s approval rating has dipped during the 21-day funding lapse that has left 800,000 federal workers furloughed and without paychecks Friday for the first time. Even a survey by Rassmussen Reports — typically more friendly to conservatives like the president — found most Republicans who responded see a wall as effective but not an emergency.

Pelosi criticizes Trump’s ‘petulance’ in shutdown ‘soap opera’
Speaker opens door adding DACA to negotiations if part of a broader immigration overhaul

Speaker Nancy Pelosi disputed President Donald Trump and Republicans’ account of Wednesday’s meeting on the shutdown at the White House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A day after President Donald Trump walked out of a meeting with congressional leaders at the White House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi deemed the ongoing negotiations a “soap opera” in which the president is playing the lead dramatic role. 

“I don’t even know if the president wants the wall,” the California Democrat told reporters Thursday during her weekly press conference. “I just think he wants the debate on the wall.”

House Democrats target private gun sellers with bipartisan background checks bill
Universal background checks bill indicates gun law reform will remain near top of Democratic agenda

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks during the event to introduce the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 in the Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats introduced bipartisan legislation Tuesday that would require all gun sellers, including private vendors, to conduct background checks on potential buyers, indicating the issue will be a top item on the Democratic agenda during the 116th Congress.

Under current law, only federally licensed vendors must conduct background checks. Private sellers who do not have licenses do not fall under the same compliance mandate.

Democrats could sue if Trump declares national emergency over wall, Hoyer says
Majority leader says technology, more personnel at border would be more effective than barrier

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., applauds for reporters who used to attend his press briefings as minority leader, during his first briefing of the 116th Congress as majority leader. ( Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer said Democratic leadership has not yet discussed what their reaction would be if President Donald Trump were to follow through on his threat to declare a national emergency on the border to build his wall, but he said a lawsuit is certainly a possibility.

Hoyer reiterated Democrats’ opposition to a border wall and said they’re not really interested in alternative barriers either. He said experts have said neither a wall nor fencing is what’s really needed at the border but rather technology, drones and more personnel.

Why the shutdown is a good thing for House Democrats
New majority can spend otherwise slow first few weeks of session messaging on opening government

A sign on Monday announces that the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden and ice rink are closed due to the partial government shutdown. The standoff between President Donald Trump and Congress over a spending package to fund nine government agencies entered its 18th day Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats don’t want roughly a quarter of the federal government to be shut down, but the situation provides some upsides for the new House majority as the impasse stretches into its 18th day. 

First and foremost, it’s a great messaging opportunity to highlight the differences between Democratic and Republican governing strategies.

Trump claims Pelosi told him House Democrats don’t want to impeach him
‘You can’t impeach somebody that’s doing a great job,’ president says

President Donald Trump is joined by House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., in the Rose Garden of the White House on Friday. Trump hosted both Democratic and Republican lawmakers at the White House for the second meeting in three days as the government shutdown heads into its third week. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump is claiming that Speaker Nancy Pelosi told him during a meeting Friday on the partial government shutdown that House Democrats are not looking to impeach him.

The president alleged that Pelosi said directly to him Friday, “We’re not looking to impeach you,” and recounted his response as, “That’s good Nancy.”

Trump affirms shutdown could last ‘months or even years’
‘The president was very adamant that he is not going to do anything until essentially we agree with him,’ House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks as he is joined by (L-R) Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), and Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) in the Rose Garden of the White House on Jan. 4. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Updated 5:12 p.m. | Congressional Democratic leaders emerged from a lengthy White House meeting with President Donald Trump on Friday and said no deal was struck.

But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said staffs of congressional leaders and the president will negotiate over the weekend in hopes of ending the partial government shutdown. 

Trump, Democrats remain ‘far apart’ on shutdown deal as talks resume
Schumer compares president to ‘Jell-O.’ Sanders questions Pelosi before Friday meeting

President Donald Trump, joined by Vice President Mike Pence, meets with Republican and Democratic congressional leadership on Wednesday in the Situation Room at the White House. They will meet again Friday to try to make progress on ending a partial government shutdown. (Shealah Craighead/White House)

President Donald Trump and congressional leaders, including top Democrats that oppose his proposed southern border wall, will try again Friday to make progress on ending a partial government shutdown. But the odds of a breakthrough appear small.

“Without a wall, you cannot have border security. Without a very strong form of barrier — call it what you will — but without a wall, you cannot have border security,” Trump said Thursday during a surprise visit to the White House briefing room, his first formal appearance there.

The 116th Congress and the week of the woman
Elizabeth Warren on Monday, Nancy Pelosi on Thursday, and record number of women sworn in

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is congratulated in the Capitol’s House chamber Thursday after winning the speakership on the first day of the 116th Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

We’ve had a couple of Years of the Woman — 1992 and certainly 2018 could be classified that way. But this week has been a week defined by women. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren kicked it off on Monday when she announced she was running for president, and Nancy Pelosi on Thursday made history again, reclaiming the speaker’s gavel after eight years in the minority, becoming both the first and second woman to lead the House. Oh, and a record number of women will serve in the 116th Congress, 24 percent of the House, 25 percent of the Senate.

In this week’s Political Theater podcast, we discuss the new Congress and what to expect from it: A record number of women in the House and Senate, new ethics rules, divided government, maybe even hats on the House floor! And amid it all, the 2020 presidential race is already well underway.