The new Congress begins its journey with the Administration closed

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  • Sat, 01/05/2019 - 09:39
  • EFE

By Alex Segura Lozano

The new legislature of Congress opened today with the Democratic control of the House of Representatives and a Republican majority in the Senate, in the middle of a closure of the Administration that affects a quarter of the Government of the president Donald Trump.

The new Speaker of the House, the Democrat Nancy Pelosi, stressed the need to reopen part of the Government, which is partially closed for thirteen days, and recalled the Democratic proposal presented on Wednesday to Trump to end the administrative paralysis.

"The Democrats will offer a legislative package with republican conditions to the Senate to reopen the Administration later today to meet the needs of the American people, protect our borders and respect our workers", Pelosi said after being confirmed in her new position.

Thus, the lower house will vote on this proposal based on laws that have been previously approved by the Senate, with a Republican majority, and other separate legislation to authorize funds for National Security until February 8.

According to Pelosi, approving this second initiative "would give 30 more days" to Democrats, Republicans and Trump to negotiate on funds for border security in the United States, without the need of have the Administration partially closed.

Far from seeing it as a feasible solution, both the White House and the leader of the Republican majority in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, have rejected the democratic idea and Trump again called for another meeting in the White House on Friday with the leaders of both parties.

"Allow me to say it again: the Senate will not accept any proposal that does not have a real possibility of being approved in this chamber and obtain a presidential signature", McConnell warned today in his opening speech of the Upper House.

McConnell said his Democratic colleagues "seem less concerned about the administrative closure than about their unreasonable political disagreement with the president".

"We need a bicameral, bipartisan solution, an agreement that can mark these three items: that it be approved by the lower house, that it will win the support of at least 60 senators, and the president's signature. It is not much complicated", the Kentucky senator said.

While the attention was now on the Capitol for the start of the new Congress, Trump continued tweeting from the White House to hold Democrats accountable for the current partial closure of the Administration and to ensure that this is an electoral strategy of the rival party.

"The closure of the Administration is due solely to the presidential elections of 2020. The Democrats know they cannot win based on all of Trump's achievements. (...) For them, it is strictly a political game", the president said in his Twitter account.

In addition, Trump said the Democrats "are doing everything possible" to avoid the "desperately necessary" wall and reinforce the border security of the country.

Since last December 22, the Administration entered in its third partial closure of this government after the negotiation between Republicans and Democrats in Congress came to a standstill as a result of the Trump's requirement that the budget proposal include an amount of more than 5,000 million dollars to finance the border wall.

Administrative paralysis affects agencies of ten Executive departments, including Transportation and Justice; as well as dozens of national parks, which are usually a major tourist attraction.

The closure harms some 800,000 of the 2.1 million federal workers, who will not receive their payments as long as the government remains closed and are at the expense of approving a new budget. 


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