Dems would OK money for border security, no wall

Hugh Fox
December 25, 2018

A partial government shutdown remains in effect after funding expired for roughly a quarter of the federal government when the clock struck midnight on Saturday - and it is not clear when it will end.

Trump, who cancelled plans to go to his Florida resort on Friday for Christmas because of the shutdown, was scheduled to discuss border security with USA homeland security officials on Monday afternoon.

Mulvaney withheld specifics but placed the offer between Trump's $5.7 billion request and $1.3 billion offered by Democrats.

The White House this weekend signaled a willingness to cut its dollar target below $5 billion, saying the final amount should be somewhere between that and the $1.3 billion included in last year's Homeland Security funding bill.

Many lawmakers returned to their home states as they awaited word of the talks, having been assured that they will get 24 hours notice before any vote occurs to reopen the government. Some Republicans also oppose building a wall.

The US Capitol is seen ahead of a possible partial government shutdown in Washington DC
Image A partial government shutdown would have been averted with a deal on spending

But when an interviewer asked whether Democrats weren't going to provide any wall money, Merkley responded: "That's correct". Several Cabinet departments and agencies have been closed since Saturday after their funding lapsed.

How long is the shutdown expected to last?

Meanwhile, from coast to coast, the first day of the shutdown played out.

He predicted it could extend into January, when Democrats will assume control of the House based on their midterm election gains.

A spokesman for Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer told CNN Sunday that "if Director Mulvaney says the Trump Shutdown will last into the New Year, believe him - because it's their shutdown".

USA government shutdown looms over border wall row
Senators say they won't vote on a final bill to fund the government until Trump and congressional leaders all agree to a deal. The House has adjourned without a deal on spending, virtually guaranteeing a partial government shutdown at midnight Friday.

Clymer says on the page that "We saw some folks are raising money for a border wall to keep out our migrant siblings and fellow human beings, who are fleeing violence and persecution and whose tragically-underpaid labor is essential to the USA economy".

"This is something that is unnecessary. It´s a spectacle and, candidly, it´s juvenile", said Corker, speaking in his final days before stepping down from Congress. "The whole thing is juvenile", Corker said in arguing for real measures that he maintains will secure the border better than a wall.

"The only way to stop drugs, gangs, human trafficking, criminal elements and much else from coming into our Country is with a Wall or Barrier", he said Sunday on Twitter. The Statue of Liberty was still open for tours, thanks to money from NY state, and the U.S. Post Office was still delivering mail.

Meanwhile, more than 380,000 employees will be furloughed - including almost all of Nasa and Housing and Urban Development and 41,000 Commerce Department employees. Those who are considered to be essential employees are reporting for duty, but are working for no pay.

The partial shutdown - along with Trump declaring Monday, Christmas Eve, a federal holiday - may be contributing to a less-than-urgent approach to the negotiations. "Instead of bringing certainty into people's lives, he's continuing the Trump Shutdown just to please right-wing radio and TV hosts". But on Friday, he was blaming Democrats for the impasse.

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Schumer's office says the parties remain "very far apart".

Schumer and Pelosi also said that Team Trump can't get their story straight on what the president will accept to end the shutdown.

Democrats have said they are open to budget proposals that do not include the wall, which they say would be costly and ineffective.

Corker suggested that a deal could be reached if Trump were prepared to give ground on the Democrats' demand to protect the status of the "Dreamers" - Latinos who, as children, arrived illegally in the United States with their parents.

Among those set to be furloughed: 52,000 staffers at the Internal Revenue Service, slowing analysis and collection of hundreds of thousands of tax returns and audits.

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