Pelosi Expected to Start as House Speaker Amid Obstacles With Trump and House Progressives
Nancy Pelosi will make history for the second time today. She became the first female Speaker of the House in 2007, and now she will be the first person ever to retake the gavel in non-consecutive Congresses.
And that’s where the smooth sailing ends. Pelosi is at odds with President Trump on the outside as well as high-profile progressives within her own caucus.
Wednesday’s border wall talks with the White House went nowhere. Trump reportedly answered a question of why he wouldn’t end the shutdown with, “I would look foolish if I did that,” the Associated Press reported.
Although another meeting is set for Friday, Pelosi continues to push her differences. During an interview on NBC’s Today on Thursday morning, Pelosi said an indictment of Trump is “an open discussion” and that “we’ll just have to see” whether an impeachment process might take place.
Pelosi plans to pass government funding legislation to end the shutdown and would offer “nothing for the wall,” as she told Today. That would be a political gesture, as Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would have to allow a vote to be taken in the Senate. Even then, Trump would veto the measure and Pelosi likely lacks the two-thirds majority needed for an override.
Then there is tension within the House. A new rules package for the body, include a pay-as-you-go provision that requires offsets for legislation that would increase the deficit, according to Roll Call. Representative Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) and Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) say they will vote against the rules as the so-called “paygo” measure will make a progressive wish list—including Medicare for All, climate change initiatives, and free college—much harder to pass, particularly given deep deficits caused by the 2017 GOP tax cut package.