House Democrats voted Thursday to end the partial government shutdown, at the same time refusing to accept President Donald Trump’s demand for additional funding for a border wall, even though the White House had previously threatened to veto their bill if it did not include the demanded funding.
The Senate will now almost certainly reject the legislation passed by congressional Democrats, prolonging the shutdown already at the end of its second week.
The House first voted on a stopgap spending bill for the Department of Homeland Security not including funding for the proposed wall, which passed by 239-192. Lawmakers then voted 241-190 to approve a legislative package made up of six full-year spending bills to reopen other shuttered parts of the federal government, CNN reports.
The Homeland Security stopgap passed by the House would keep the agency funded through February 8, providing no new funding for the barrier along the southern border but buying more time for talks on the wall.
Meanwhile, President Trump invited both GOP and Democratic congressional leaders to meet with him at the White House on Friday to discuss ending the shutdown. It is yet to be seen if any progress at all would be made at the meeting considering the two sides have so far been unwilling to give in.
On Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence backed the “no wall, no deal” approach adopted by the President during a Fox News interview, stressing, however, that they were open to negotiating.
“We are here to make a deal, but it’s a deal that’s going to result in achieving real gains. … We will have no deal without a wall,” he said.
On the other hand, Democrats have pointed out on multiple occasions that the wall funding was a non-starter. Early Thursday, newly elected House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the long-sought wall was “a waste of money,” adding that House Democrats they were trying “to reopen the government.”
An end to the stalemate, however, is nowhere in sight.