It was widely speculated that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has deliberately stalled negotiations to end the ongoing partial government shutdown until the new Democratic majority takes control of the House on Jan. 3 — and now, Pelosi has all but admitted to it.
Pelosi vowed on Tuesday that she and her colleagues would “take action” immediately after being sworn in on Thursday to end the shutdown.
Pelosi’s new Democrat majority
Pelosi released a letter to the incoming Democrat House majority on Tuesday in which she promised to “pass strong, bipartisan legislation to reopen [the] government, which has already received strong bipartisan support in the Senate.”
Indeed, two Democrat-sponsored bills to reopen the government were submitted in the House on Monday, though neither of them contained the border security funding that President Donald Trump requested.
In fact, one of those bills would only provide short-term funding for the Department of Homeland Security — meaning this particular showdown would recommence in February — and provided only $1.3 billion for border security, with explicit provisions prohibiting those funds from being used for a “border wall.”
“We are giving the Republicans the opportunity to take yes for an answer,” Pelosi said of the bills. “Senate Republicans have already supported this legislation, and if they reject it now, they will be fully complicit in chaos and destruction of the [p]resident’s third shutdown of his term.”
Actual negotiations soon?
President Trump has made it abundantly clear that he’s been ready and willing to negotiate all throughout the ongoing shutdown, and reiterated that on Tuesday with a tweet aimed at Pelosi.
Border Security and the Wall “thing” and Shutdown is not where Nancy Pelosi wanted to start her tenure as Speaker! Let’s make a deal?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 1, 2019
But Pelosi soon responded with a tweet of her own, wherein she called the shutdown “irresponsible” and touted her party’s plans to end it.
.@realDonaldTrump has given Democrats a great opportunity to show how we will govern responsibly & quickly pass our plan to end the irresponsible #TrumpShutdown – just the first sign of things to come in our new Democratic Majority committed to working #ForThePeople. https://t.co/CGl1euCotB
— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) January 1, 2019
But while she may have made jabs online, Nancy Pelosi deftly avoided making a deal with Trump to end the shutdown over the last two weeks, and now, it’s perfectly clear that she did that on purpose.
She wanted to wait until a Democratic majority was in place to earn her leverage at the negotiating table — which is pretty much what everybody suspected she was doing all along.