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Pelosi threatens to demand Mueller protection language in spending bill

House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSpending deal clears obstacle in shutdown fight Ocasio-Cortez, Cruz trade jabs over COVID-19 relief: People 'going hungry as you tweet from' vacation Rep. Rick Allen tests positive for COVID-19 MORE (D-Calif.) says Democrats will demand that protections for special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE be included in a must-pass spending bill if GOP leaders fail to bring the legislation to the floor.

The Thursday threat comes on the heels of news that Michael Cohen, President TrumpDonald John TrumpMinnesota certifies Biden victory Trump tells allies he plans to pardon Michael Flynn: report Republican John James concedes in Michigan Senate race MORE’s former personal attorney, has entered into a plea agreement with Mueller and agreed to cooperate in the special counsel’s sprawling Russia probe. Cohen pleaded guilty to lying last year to congressional panels investigating Russian interference in the election.

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“The Congress must immediately pass legislation to preserve the Special Counsel investigation, which is identical to bipartisan legislation passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee," Pelosi said in a statement.

“If Speaker Ryan refuses to take up that bill, House Democrats will fight to include language to protect the investigation in the upcoming must-pass spending bill.”

Pelosi’s Senate counterpart, Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerUS national security policy in the 117th Congress and a new administration Voters say Biden should make coronavirus vaccine a priority: poll New York City subway service could be slashed 40 percent, officials warn MORE (D-N.Y.), has been issuing similar threats ahead of Dec. 7 government funding deadline.

Trump and the GOP need the support of Democrats in the Senate to pass any legislation, though they don't require the cooperation of Democrats in the House.

Trump, meanwhile, is demanding $5 billion for his border wall in the spending package — far more than the $1.6 billion Democrats are willing to give up — which has further raised the prospects of a government shutdown next week.

Both House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanPaul Ryan calls for Trump to accept results: 'The election is over' Bottom line Democratic anger rises over Trump obstacles to Biden transition MORE (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellImmigration, executive action top Biden preview of first 100 days Spending deal clears obstacle in shutdown fight McConnell pushed Trump to nominate Barrett on the night of Ginsburg's death: report MORE (R-Ky.) have said legislation to protect the Russia probe are unnecessary — even after Trump fired Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsAlabama zeroes in on Richard Shelby's future Tuberville incorrectly says Gore was president-elect in 2000 Next attorney general must embrace marijuana law reforms MORE and replaced him with acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, who has been vocally critical of the Russia probe.

But retiring Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeProfiles in cowardice: Trump's Senate enablers McSally concedes Arizona Senate race The Hill's Morning Report - ObamaCare front and center; transition standoff continues MORE (R-Ariz.) has vowed to block all judicial nominations until the Senate considers a Mueller protection bill. Senate GOP leaders, seeking to diffuse the situation, said they would gauge support for the legislation.

Efforts by Flake to bring the bill to the Senate floor have been blocked thus far.