US President Donald Trump will face a House of Representatives dominated by opposition Democrats beginning Thursday when a new Congress is due to be assembled.
Representative Nancy Pelosi has again been chosen as Speaker, a post she held when Democrats were in the majority in the House through 2010. Pelosi, the only woman to hold the job, will take over from Republican Paul Ryan.
One hundred new House members, including 63 Democrats who won election in November, will be seated. Democrats will have a 235-199 majority in the lower chamber. One seat will remain vacant after allegations of election fraud in North Carolina.
Trump’s Republicans have a comparatively comfortable majority of 53 to 47 seats in the Senate, where eight new members will be sworn in. However the Republican majority is short of the 60 votes necessary to pass budget bills under Senate rules.
The shift in power in the House comes at a time when a partial government shutdown that has lasted for close to two weeks. Republicans and Democrats have been squabbling over spending bills to keep several government departments running after hitting an impasse on border security.
Trump insists on 5.6 billion dollars in funding for a wall. Democrats have refused to include money for a wall and offered far less for border security.
Pelosi previously said that the House would take up a bill to reopen government as a first order of business. The House is expected to pass it, but it has no chance in the Senate, where Republicans say they will consider only legislation that has Trump’s support.