Eight House Dems Break With Leadership On Wall Funding

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Kerry Picket Political Reporter
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WASHINGTON—Eight House Democrats broke ranks with their leadership Wednesday when they voted against an amendment within disaster supplemental aid legislation that would deny funding for the border wall.

The amendment passed 230-197 and the Disaster Supplemental Appropriations Act passed 237 – 187. The Democrats that voted against the amendment are:

New York Democratic Rep. Anthony Brindisi, South Carolina Democratic Rep. Joe Cunningham, Oklahoma Democratic Rep. Kendra Horn, New Jersey Democratic Rep. Andy Kim, Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. Conor Lamb, Minnesota Democratic Rep. Colin Peterson, Michigan Democratic Rep. Elise Slotnik, and New Jersey Democratic Rep. Jeff Van Drew. (RELATED: Some Freshman Democrats Want Party Leadership To Stop Stonewalling Trump On Border Security, Immigration)

“I have said multiple times that I support some element of a physical barrier as part of an overall package on border security, but it’s also got to include more funding for border agents, it’s got to include more technology,” Brindisi told Vox. “But I’ve always been consistent in saying if the experts tell us a physical barrier makes sense, I will support it.”

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 02: (L-R) House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Senate Minority Whip Richard Durbin (D-IL), House Speaker designate Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) talk to journalists following a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and fellow members of Congress about border security at the White House January 02, 2019 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

One day after Democrats rejected a lunch invitation to meet with President Trump to discuss ways for both sides of the border debate to find a solution to fund the federal government and end the partial shutdown these eight Democrats found themselves parting ways with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over an amendment proposed by House Rules Chairman Jim McGovern.

“His wall won’t work. Period. We’re in the 21st century, and this is a medieval solution,” McGovern said in a statement.

Republicans members on the Rules Committee slammed the amendment, Roll Call reported, calling it an “exercise in futility” that hurts bipartisan support for disaster relief in areas places like Puerto Rico and California.

At a House Democratic caucus meeting Tuesday Pelosi reportedly told Democrats to stay together when it came to border funding in relation to the government shutdown.

“Is anybody surprised that the president is trying to get votes wherever he can get votes? … We are totally united. Totally,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters.

The House bi-partisan problem-solvers caucus went to the White House Wednesday

Pelosi and Hoyer claimed they saw no issue with rank and file Democrats meeting with the president in an effort to end the shutdown, but predicted their members would become as frustrated with the president as they did.

“They can see what we’ve been dealing with,” Pelosi said laughingly to Hoyer. “And they’ll want to make a citizen’s arrest,” USA Today reported.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks while participating in a tour of U.S.-Mexico border wall prototypes near the Otay Mesa Port of Entry in San Diego, California. U.S., March 13, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks while participating in a tour of U.S.-Mexico border wall prototypes near the Otay Mesa Port of Entry in San Diego, California. U.S., March 13, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

However, A Democrat who did attend the bipartisan meeting as a member of the problem solver caucus, New Jersey Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer, said the discussion was in fact “constructive.”

“I left thinking that both sides realize that we’ve got to find a way out of this and that because there is a real openness. So I left me feeling like we’ve got to work on this because there’s a way that was I thought that’s why it’s not a constructive conversation but we’ve got to keep talking,” Gottheimer told reporters. “And I really think that was for me the big take away — we got to keep at this.”

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