The House of Representatives on Thursday voted to approve a stopgap spending bill for the Department of Homeland Security. The bill would not allocate any new funding to the president’s demands for a border wall at the Mexico wall.
The White House has threatened to veto the measure if it does not include $5 billion to begin construction on a border wall at the Mexican border.
Incoming Democrats, including House Majority Leader, Nancy Pelosi have said publicly that they will work with the administration to boost border security but will not approve funds for a wall on the Mexican border.
As Washington began the change of power on Capitol Hill, U.S. Virgin Islands Delegate to Congress Stacey Plaskett called out House Republicans, charging that the previous body only, “worked for the wealthy and well-connected.”
Plaskett also mentioned that House Democrats are moving to clean up Washington two years after then candidate Trump promised to “drain the swamp.” The Delegate’s comments are likely in response to special counsel Robert Mueller’s team indicting and securing a number of guilty pleas from 33 people and three companies that we know of.
As the special counsel closes in on the President’s inner circle, associates like Paul Manafort, Michel Cohen and former national security advisor Michael Flynn have been convicted on felony charges they pleaded guilty to during the 2016 Presidential Election.
Flynn’s sentencing was postponed after a federal judge suggested all sides wait until Flynn finishes cooperating with the special counsel’s probe, Politico reports.
Plaskett has also said that, “Congress is more concerned with imposing on the territories” during Congressional testimony of FEMA Chief, Brock Long on disparities in federal disaster response in U.S. territories.
Thursday marked the first day of the 116th United States Congress, with Democrats assuming control of the House of Representatives after their historic November win. Once confirmed, the Democratic-held House passed legislation Thursday night that would end a partial government shutdown and fund eight federal agencies.
Local officials in the Virgin Islands have not confirmed that operations of federal agencies like FEMA would be affected in the Virgin Islands. Insurance companies in the territory, however, are not able to access the National Flood Insurance Program during the shutdown. And FEMA’s official website mentions that the site will not be active, “due to the lapse in federal funding.”
That should change now that FEMA has announced that it will continue to fund the program during the shutdown.
A more notable development is the Democratic party’s often measured responses to the commander in chief, with many scaling back the frequency of a single word — impeachment. In its place, Democrats have found solace in using the word ‘corruption’ to describe the previous congressional body and the Trump Administration.
Plaskett and other non-voting delegates from U.S. territories in the Caribbean and Pacific were not a part of the Thursday night vote.