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In shutdown fight with Trump and GOP, Pelosi drew a line on governing

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The late 2017 tax cut, by principally benefiting affluent Americans and corporations, became a GOP liability in midterm elections that flipped the House to Democrats last November. Fearing worse, Republican leaders haven’t even tried to pursue their goal of reducing budget deficits by curbing Medicare and Social Security.

In 2016, Trump touted a “great wall” financed by Mexico as his solution for immigration woes that “incompetent” previous administrations hadn’t handled. The pledge, although transparently fanciful, galvanized campaign audiences.

Then-Speaker Paul Ryan mocked it. Rep. Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina — among those who egged on the Obama-era debt and shutdown crises — called it “childish.”

After Trump won, the GOP Congress politely sidetracked the pledge for fear of angering his core supporters. Then, with his political and legal troubles mounting after Democrats won back the House, Trump decided to force the issue in December.

With the gavel and majority support on her side, Pelosi drew her line against a White House policy of make-believe.

Pelosi and Senate counterpart Mitch McConnell spent years as colleagues in the world of congressional appropriations. With granular control over checks written for specific projects and programs, it’s the ultimate governing venue on Capitol Hill.

That shared experience, she said, made it “particularly painful to see him kowtowing to the president” during the shutdown. Now, in defense of the congressional oversight prerogative, she seeks common cause with Republicans against tactics Trump used unsuccessfully against her.

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