Chuck Schumer on Shutdown Deal: Dems Still 'Firmly Against the Wall'

Hugh Fox
January 26, 2019

Democrats, holding the House majority, refused to agree to any deal that included funding for the wall, although they agreed to support general border security.

"In a short while, I will sign a bill to open our government for three weeks until February 15".

Pelosi told reporters she's "still optimistic" Senate Republicans will vote Thursday for the Democratic bill that would temporarily reopen government while talks are held over Trump's demand for $5.7 billion to build the border wall.

"I want to thank all of the incredible federal workers and their wonderful families who have shown such extraordinary devotion in the face of this recent hardship", said Trump, adding that these workers will receive back pay as soon as possible. The president on Friday then announced he was endorsing a short-term spending bill to end the shutdown and thanked government employees for their dedication and hard work. Many of those workers missed their second paycheck on Friday.

But the idea has not been endorsed by President Trump, who says any short-term deal must include a large down-payment for a border wall - an idea Pelosi and Schumer immediately rejected.

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In his remarks, Trump repeatedly made the case for the wall, saying it "should not be controversial".

Democrats and other critics doubt or deny the country even needs such a barrier, accusing Trump of twisting facts and figures to overstate the scope of any problem along the country's southern border. Hundreds of IRS workers recalled to work during tax season are refusing to show up to their jobs, citing a clause in their union contract that allows them to stay home from work in the even that a shutdown causes them "hardship". Earlier in the day, LaGuardia Airport in NY was briefly closed due to a shortage of air traffic controllers, exacerbating flight delays across the country.

Pelosi was referring to a meeting Thursday between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to explore next steps for solving the vitriolic stalemate.

Mr Trump added he had "seen and heard enough" from Democrats and Republicans to persuade him "they are willing to put partisanship aside and put the security of the American people first".

The White House said it would accept a final compromise deal to keep the United States government open as long as it includes funding for a border wall, even if it is less than the $5.7bn that Trump has requested. It earned 50 votes to 47 against, but it needed 60 to advance. "No matter where they go, they work", he said. The Democratic-led House was expected to approve it on Friday as well.

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President Donald Trump issued a compromise offer to end the shutdown during a speech on January 19.

The Senate has voted down competing Democratic and Republican plans for ending the 35-day partial government shutdown on Thursday. That was eight votes short. The partial government shutdown is now in its 34th day.

"I am one of his (President Trump) oldest friends, I am a fervent supporter of the President", Mr Stone said after posting bail.

On Saturday, the president proposed to extend protection for some illegal immigrants in the U.S.in exchange for border-security funding that would end the shutdown.

Today, as he postponed the showdown for three weeks, Mr Trump again praised the virtues of a wall. For weeks, he'd let President Trump and Democrats try reaching an accord and, until Thursday, had barred any votes on legislation President Trump would not sign.

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