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Shutdown Continues as Democrats Take Back the House

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Shutdown Continues as Democrats Take Back the House
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In the US, the Democrats have manoeuvred to pass legislation with the support of new Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the only woman ever to serve as speaker. She will preside over the most diverse U.S. House in history.

Democrats wish to put an end to the partial government shutdown, but Republicans called the move "political theatre" in a new period in the Donald Trump era.

Antonio Oliveira e Silva has more:

Democrat Nancy Pelosi is back in the Speaker's chair after eight years.

As Speaker for the House of Representatives she will oversee a series of investigations of President Trump. In her opening speech she reminded representatives of the importance of the Chamber and of the system of checks and balances.

“Two months ago, the American people spoke and demanded a new dawn. They called upon the beauty of our constitution, that our system of checks and balances that protects our democracy, remembering that the legislative branch is Article 1 - the first branch of government is co-equal to the presidency and to the judiciary.” She said.

But Pelosi will also have to pursue the Democratic agenda, with plenty of opportunities to confront President Trump.

And the Democrats wasted no time flexing their new power in the House. They passed legislation to end the shutdown, while ignoring the President's demand for 5 billion dollars for the wall. “A wall is an immorality. It's not who we are as a nation.” Pelosi said.

“And this is not a wall between Mexico and the United States that the President is creating here. It's a wall between reality and his constituents. “

The Democratic package includes a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies. But the Republicans think this is "political theatre". The White House has even issued a veto threat against the legislation.

After congratulating Pelosi for becoming Speaker of the House, President Trump insisted on the importance of a border wall. “I just want to start off by congratulating Nancy Pelosi on being elected Speaker of the House. It's a very, very great achievement. You can call it a barrier; you can call it whatever you want. But essentially we need protection in our country.

"We're going to make it good. The people of our country want it. I have never had so much support as I have in the last week over my stance for border security, for border control, and for frankly the wall or the barrier."

They are the majority in the most diverse Congress in US history, including a record number of women and members of minorities.