Day 13 of the partial government shutdown brings an important day for Democrats in Congress–their first time holding a majority of the House in eight years. California Democrat Nancy Pelosi is expected to take on her second term as Speaker of the House and issued President Trump a stark warning to expect a “different world” as the new Congress is sworn in.
As the Democrats prepare to take over on Thursday, January 3, Pelosi explained to USA Today in a newly published interview that the president is in for a very different experience from his first two years in office when the GOP controlled both chambers of Congress.
“He was used to serving with a Republican Congress, House and Senate that was a rubber stamp to him. That won’t be the case,” she said. “Oversight of the government by the Congress is our responsibility.”
“That’s the role that we play,” she added.
Pelosi served as Speaker of the House from 2007-2011 and is expected to take the gavel again today and spearhead a Congress that plans to confront Trump on many fronts, starting with an attempt to check the power of the White House and Republicans.
The Democrats plan to unveil an anti-corruption bill that will strengthen the government’s ethics law by, among other things, requiring presidents to release their tax returns–something Trump has adamantly refused to do. The first bill of the new Congress will also cover campaign finance reform and voting rights expansion.
Meanwhile, Pelosi and the Democratic party have been locked in an intense battle with President Trump over border security, which ultimately led to the government’s current state of a partial shut down.
Shortly before the holidays, Congress attempted to pass a spending bill that was rejected by the president after facing pressure over the fact that it did not include funding to build a barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border. A few days later, a second measure was passed in the House that did include Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion in funding for the border wall but did not get a vote in the Senate.
Pelosi said that the House vote was another example of Trump’s “rubber stamp Congress,” explaining that “many of them did not really believe in that” but still gave him the vote “for whatever reason.”
And as the California Democrat and her party prepare to take over, many of Pelosi’s allies point to her most recent “toe-to-toe battle” with the president during a televised meeting in the Oval Office on December 11, when Pelosi held her own against Trump who said he would be “proud” to shut down the government.
Rep. Jackie Speier explained that despite Pelosi’s “grandmother image” that she has historically relied on, she’s a “very strong determined woman” whose relationship with the president will be “a stunning dynamic to watch.”
“The president has been successful in bullying people into doing things–that’s how he makes his deals,” Speier explained. “He’s got to change his strategy or he will fail.”