GOP takes victory lap around Pelosi after passing border wall bill

 
“Nancy Pelosi learned two things today," Rep. Mark WalkerBradley (Mark) Mark WalkerThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democrats worry about diversity on next debate stage North Carolina congressman says he won't seek reelection after redistricting NC rep explores Tillis primary challenge MORE (R-N.C.) said in a statement Thursday night. "First, it’s not 2009 anymore. Second, hubris is not the same as leadership – you don’t get to march into the Oval Office and dictate your demands without compromise." 
 
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Pelosi clashed with Trump last week in a tense, televised Oval Office meeting, where she bickered with him over whether Republicans could muster the votes to pass a border wall bill in the House.
 
"The fact is you do not have the votes in the House," Pelosi told Trump.
 
"Nancy, I do," he responded, to which Pelosi replied, "Well, let's take the vote and we'll find out."
 
The House approved a stopgap funding measure on Thursday night that includes $5.7 billion in funding for the wall. The bill passed in a party-line vote of 217-185.
 
 
"I think she may be a good vote-counter, but not on our side of the aisle," Cole said.
 
After Pelosi's public challenge to Trump, some Republicans said they felt it was politically imperative to prove her wrong.
 
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"We just gave him serious leverage in whatever negotiations he is going to have with the Senate," Scalise told Fox News. "They have to confront this issue knowing that we have the president’s back in the House."
 
Scalise's press secretary, Lauren Fine, circulated a note Thursday night touting that just eight Republicans had voted against the border wall funding measure.
 
"I know things move fast around here, but wanted to remind you all that it was not too long ago that Nancy Pelosi claimed we would never be able pass $5 billion in funding for the wall with Republican votes in the House," Fine wrote.
 
The bill's passage was far from a foregone conclusion, and a victory for Scalise's whipping operation. GOP leadership last week was unable to secure enough votes to pass a $5 billion wall bill. They opted not to bring the bill to the floor last week, as they were bedeviled by absent members and moderates who oppose a wall.
 
Trump signaled earlier this week that he was stepping back from his initial demands and suggested he would accept a short-term stopgap measure to prevent a shutdown. But on Thursday morning GOP conservatives rebelled against passing a bill without border wall funding.
 
Trump did an about-face, saying on Twitter that he was now demanding wall funding. He also threatened again to shut down the government if Congress did not provide funds for a wall. Republicans settled on a plan to add $5.7 billion in wall funding and border security to the Senate-passed bill and take a vote.
 
Suddenly, it was Democrats who found themselves scrambling for votes, with several of their own members out of town. For example, Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellLawmakers prep ahead of impeachment hearing Trump: Fox News 'panders' to Democrats by having on liberal guests Democrats could introduce articles of impeachment next week MORE (D-Calif.), a potential 2020 contender, was in Iowa when the vote took place.
 
"There was a point today where 45 were gone," said Rep. Richard NealRichard Edmund NealAFL-CIO backs Trump's North American trade pact Pelosi announces support for new Trump NAFTA deal Trump expresses confidence on USMCA, touts Democrat support MORE (D-Mass.), the likely incoming chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.
 
During morning votes, both parties had 26 members absent. By evening, Democrats had 20 missing, while the GOP was without 11. Even if all the absent Democrats voted against the resolution, they would not have been able to sink the bill.
 
Democrats have defended Pelosi, saying that at the time she issued the challenge to Trump last week it was true that Republicans didn't have the votes. The showdown seemed to persuade many Republicans who opposed the wall to end up voting for the measure in a sign of solidarity.
 
"It led Republicans to vote for a policy that, you understand, they hadn't put on the floor for 11 months and 20 days," said Democratic Whip Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by UANI — House Dems charge Trump with abuse, obstruction of Congress in impeachment articles Hoyer predicts impeachment vote next week Pelosi announces support for new Trump NAFTA deal MORE (Md.). "They didn't put it on the floor because they didn't think they could pass it."
 
"I think they got the votes because it became a political show of ability to do it, not because it's good policy," he added.
 
Drew Hammill, a spokesman for Pelosi, shot back at Walker's comments about it not being 2009 anymore.
 
".@RepMarkWalker learned nothing today. First, it’s not 1950 anymore and women will lead the next Congress. Second, your vote for a #TrumpShutdown plan doesn’t show leadership but that you are hopelessly wedded to driving your party into oblivion. Good luck in the minority," he tweeted.