WASHINGTON (WCMH) – Democrats are standing behind the bill to keep thousands of federal workers on the job and prevent the government from closing for the second time in several months.
NBC4’s Colleen Marshall sat down with top congressional leaders in Washington and found out the vote to keep the government open will likely happen Thursday night.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi predicts the bill will pass with bipartisan support even though neither side got everything they wanted.
“It’s a compromise. And as I say to my members, don’t judge a bill on what isn’t in it. Respect it for what it accomplishes. And this accomplishes a great deal for the American people. Again, it is a compromise and I think it will make a really big difference,” said Pelosi. “I think it will have resounding support in the Democratic caucus, maybe not unanimous because some people will still be unhappy. And I know it will get some Republican votes in the House and Senate.”
“Some people say Nancy Pelosi won and some people say the President called it wrong because he got less and he is going to sign something he portrayed he wasn’t going to sign. He was proud to shut down the government. He was demanding five plus billion dollars. He’s not going to get that. So, maybe in some ways, he does lose and Speaker Pelosi wins,” said Joyce Beatty, a Democratic representative from Ohio.
Both Pelosi and Beatty predict President Trump will sign the bill because no one in his party and no one in the Democratic party wants to see the government shut down again.
Republicans describe the deal as a ‘down payment’ on Trump’s signature campaign pledge.
Trump said Wednesday that he’s still waiting on lawmakers to present him with the final legislative language before making a decision. But he’s not waiting to declare victory, contending at the White House on Wednesday that a wall “is being built as we speak.”
Indeed, work on a first barrier extension — 14 miles in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley — starts this month, approved by Congress about a year ago along with money to renovate and strengthen some existing fencing. But that’s a far cry from the vast wall he promised during his campaign would “go up so fast your head will spin.”
Sounding like he was again in campaign mode, he told a law enforcement group on Wednesday, “It’s going to be a great, powerful wall. … The wall is very, very on its way.”
Carried away by his own enthusiasm, perhaps, he added, “You are going to have to be in extremely good shape to get over this one. They would be able to climb Mount Everest a lot easier, I think.”
Trump and his aides have also signaled that he is preparing to use executive action to try to secure additional money for the wall by tapping into existing federal dollars without any congressional sign-off so he can show supporters he’s continuing to fight. That could lead to resistance in Congress or federal court.
But assuming there are no surprises in the final text, “I think he’s going to sign it,” conservative Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., a close ally of the president, said Wednesday. He warned, though, that “it would be political suicide” if Trump signed the deal and then failed to take action to secure additional funding for the wall using his executive powers.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.