The 116th Congress was sworn into office today, and with it, the House of Representatives was on track late today to vote on a package of bills aimed at ending the partial Federal government shutdown and reopening the government, according to House scheduling information provided by C-SPAN.

The ultimate success of a new House funding bill remains far from certain, however.  The House bill won’t include funding for a U.S. southern border wall, and so is not likely to get far with Senate Republicans and President Trump.

During an interview with NBC this morning, new House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., reiterated the House Democrats’ firm opposition to wall funding.

“No, no. Nothing for the wall. We’re talking about border security,” Speaker Pelosi said.

Late this afternoon, President Trump made his first White House Briefing Room appearance of 2019 to restate his demand for border wall funding, accompanied by the Border Patrol Council, a union for Border Patrol agents that endorsed Trump during the election.

“Without a very strong form of barrier, call it what you will, but without a wall you can’t have border security. It won’t work,” Trump said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said that he will not hold a vote on a government funding deal to end the shutdown unless it has the approval of the President.

“The legislation that House Democrats plan to vote on later today is, in my view, not a serious attempt [to end the shutdown]. I would call it political theater, not productive lawmaking,” McConnell said.

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.