White House driving a hard bargain by demanding more than a wall

Michele Moreno
January 23, 2018

Donald Trump said the Dems were forced to shutdown the government because they are "powerless".

Republicans also want that funding for border security including a proposed border wall with Mexico and immigration reforms, as well as increased military spending.

Earlier, in a Senate speech, he called the partial government closure the "Trump Shutdown", contending that he offered the president funding for the wall, a key 2016 Trump campaign promise, but that the USA leader would not compromise on other immigration policy changes. "The president must take yes for an answer".

The White House had refused to negotiate over immigration, one of the Democrats' central issues, while the government remained closed. "Schumer and the Democrats hold the government for millions of Americans and our troops hostage".

"It is abundantly clear that the Senate can not make progress on any of these crucial matters until the government is re-opened", McConnell said on the Senate floor, as he promised to allow an immigration policy process so long as the government was not shut down.

The vote Monday will prove to be a test of unity and resolve among Democrats.

Democrats and Republicans traded blame throughout the weekend, with President Donald Trump calling for the "nuclear option" on Twitter.

The House was expected to pass the bill later Monday, which would end the shutdown after three days.

The spending approved Monday funds the government through February 8. "It's very unpopular, and they're trying to find a way out of it", said Senate GOP Whip John Cornyn of Texas.

The Washington Post on Sunday reported that Republican leaders in Congress had actually advised Trump to stay away; it cited a senior White House official as saying Trump was "itching" to get involved.

"President Trump is being crystal clear on what he wants and he has not wavered in that", Short said on NBC's "Meet the Press".

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said he will allow the Senate to consider immigration legislation in February in exchange for Democratic support for reopening the government.

"The great dealmaking president sat on the sidelines", he said.

But even though the 60-vote threshold makes it hard for Republicans to pass their priorities, so far, there doesn't seem to be an appetite on either side of the aisle to get rid of the rule.

"Unfortunately, the president and Republican leaders in Congress are like Abbott and Costello", Schumer said.

"I'm hoping they are going to agree to something soon", Republican Senator Jeff Flake said of the McConnell-Schumer talks. "The congressional leaders tell me to negotiate with President Trump".

"I don't know what's confusing about that", Sanders told George Stephanopoulos, after walking through her version of Trump's position on immigration at that moment. "This political Catch-22, never seen before, has driven our government to dysfunction".

Still, he said Monday that much progress has been made.

"I think they miscalculated on the shutdown".

A spokesman for McConnell said in response to the tweet that the Senate Republican Conference does not support changing the 60-vote rule, a reiteration of Republican Senate leadership's already-stated opposition to the move Trump has called for over the past year. "Today would be a good day to end it all".

Trump announced in September he would end the Obama-era order Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that protected 800,000 young immigrants from deportation. But Democrats Monday said McConnell's language was stronger.

Republican negotiators say Trump aides like Stephen Miller are standing in the way of an immigration deal.

Schumer and his colleagues accused Trump of being an unreliable negotiating partner, saying the two sides came close to a deal on immigration several times, only to have Trump back out under pressure from anti-immigration conservatives.

Even some Republicans are complaining about the White House's role in the negotiations, though they have pinned the blame not on Trump but on the staff around him.

Other reports by Insurance News

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