Back to work for congressional lawmakers in the nation’s capital: Thursday afternoon members were sworn in, and for many, the elephant in the room is the thing they want to tackle first.
“We’ve got to clean up Washington,” said Democratic Congresswoman Cheri Bustos. “But the first test of bipartisanship will be reopening the government.”
Bustos is one of the many women changing the narrative in Congress. A record number of women were sworn in Thursday, many of them young or minorities.
“It’s time to get down to business, we’ve got to reopen government,” added Bustos. “Frankly that will be in the hands of the president.”
Though Democrats control the house, it will take bipartisanship to get work done.
Republican Rep. Darin LaHood said, “I think that infrastructure is vitally important to a district like ours. New roads, bridges, and how we come together on an infrastructure plan is vitally important.”
Some Democrats are hopeful the president will reach across the aisle to help pass a spending bill, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) recalling criminal justice reform as an example.
“We were surprised the president stepped up and said, “I agree with you”,” said Durbin. “If he does more of that, he’ll be running a record to solve problems in this country and that’s why most of us were elected.”
President Donald Trump has made it clear that hes not budging without funding for a border wall.
“We’ve got to have border security,” said Republican Congressman Rodney Davis. “I’ve been to the San Diego sector, we’ve seen what border structures are being rebuilt. Lets not let semantics determine whether or not we have border security.”