Monday, 18 October 2021

US House approves bills to end govt shutdown

WASHINGTON: Under the legislation, the US departments of State, Commerce, Agriculture, Labor, Treasury and other agencies will be funded through 30 September, the end of the current fiscal year, Reuters reported.

Hours before the vote the White House said in the statement that the Democrats’ resolutions fund a number of unnecessary programs at levels 20 percent or higher than the US president’s fiscal year 2019 budget request, including excessing foreign aid and other assistance for the West Bank/Gaza, Syria, Pakistan and UN programs.

The Trump administration has also threatened to veto a package of short-term spending bills being introduced by US House Democrats in order to end the current government shutdown because they ignore “the Nation’s urgent border security needs.”

The US government has been partially shut down since December 22 after Democratic lawmakers refused to meet President Donald Trump’s demand for $5.6 billion to build the controversial wall on the US-Mexico border.

Trump said via Twitter on Thursday that he was willing to cooperate with the Democratic Party on a funding bill that would be beneficial for the United States. In a strange turn of events, the president also held an impromptu presser Thursday afternoon that included no new announcements. Trump walked into the briefing room alongside border patrol agents and reiterated his position on the need to construct a wall along the southern border with Mexico. Trump also took a moment to congratulate his political rival who is now running the House.

“I just want to start with congratulating Nancy Pelosi by being elected… speaker of the House. It is a very very great achievement,” Trump said on Thursday during his first-ever appearance in the White House briefing room.

US lawmakers who clinched victories in the November midterm elections were sworn-in to office as the 116th Congress convened with a new Democratic majority in the House of Representatives, which elected Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi as its speaker.

Pelosi, who previously held the position of House speaker from 2007 to 2011, regained the gavel after a simple majority of members, 220 over 192, backed her in the vote.

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