The 116th Congress is now in session under the leadership of newly elected Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. This marks the second time she has assumed this title in her political career which brings to mind two historic facts that everyone should celebrate. The first of which being that she was the first woman in to ever hold the title when she was first elected January 4, 2007 which she held until January 3, 2001 when Paul Ryan took over as Speaker. The second being that she is one of only seven individuals to have regained the Speakership on non-consecutive terms. Something that has not happened in over 60 years.
It also comes at one of the most pivotal times for Speaker Pelosi with the looming face off with President Trump over funding for border security and specifically the funding of his border wall. Both Speaker Pelosi and President Trump have made their stances crystal clear.
As recently as yesterday morning on the Today Show, Nancy Pelosi stated again “We can go through the back and forth. No. How many more times can we say no? Nothing for the wall.“.
When asked how long he is willing to keep the government shut down over funding for the wall, President Trump during his first cabinet meeting of 2019 responded, “As long as it takes.”. He then went on to say, “I mean look, I’m prepared. I think the people of this country think I am right. Again, I could have had a lot easier presidency by doing nothing, but I’m here, I want to do it right.”
Speaker Pelosi and the newly elected House Democrats plan to vote on two bills this evening. The first of which funds the majority of the government through the 2019 fiscal year. The other funds Homeland Security through February giving them time to further debate the issue of border security and funding for a wall. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already stated that any bills that are proposed by the House that do not include funding for the border wall would be blocked and considered a “nonstarter“.
It seems we are in for a very interesting and entertaining two years given the current state of affairs and shift in power in the House. As newly appointed House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy handed the gavel to Speaker Pelosi and she prepared to take her oath of office, she paused asking that they allow a few moments so that her grandchildren and any children in attendance could come up to the front and stand with her as she takes her oath. It was a beautiful and moving sentiment that I know many on the floor appreciated and that those children in attendance will never forget.
I pray for the sake of our country that it is not the first and only bipartisan act we see from Speaker Pelosi during her Speakership. After all, she and those in Congress work for the American People. Regardless of what side of the isle we are from many of us are not happy with the current state of affairs in Washington D.C. We have a long list of issues we need resolved. Too many of us are in need of the kind of assistance that only Congress can legislate.