Trump offers deal to end government shutdown despite rejection by Dems

Mae Love
January 20, 2019

Trump also offered to extend the Temporary Protected Status program that blocks deportation of certain immigrants fleeing civil unrest or natural disasters. Democrats say Trump balked at the offer, demanding more after Democrats thought they had a deal. "I look forward to working w/my GOP & Dem colleagues to make this happen so that we can end this shameful shutdown", he tweeted.

But the initial reaction to the offer from Democrats and conservative border hawks was hostile, raising doubts that it would be enough to break an impasse that has resulted in 800,000 federal workers being furloughed or forced to work without pay and numerous government agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, operating at minimal staffing levels.

The government has been shut down since December 22, making it the longest in U.S. history.

The president added that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would seek quick passage of the proposal, which, however, does not include a path to citizenship for Dreamers and is viewed as a nonstarter for Democrats. The Senate will vote on this sensible plan next week.

Trump's son-in-law and senior aide, Jared Kushner, has led the work on the proposals, said three people familiar with White House thinking who were not authorized to speak publicly.

The plan, Trump said, represented "a compassionate response" to the crisis at the border. With bipartisan cooperation, the Senate can send a bill to the House quickly so that they can take action as well. It also would provide emergency funding for US areas hit by hurricanes, floods and other natural disasters.

The Democratic lawmaker called for Senator McConnell "to allow a vote on any of the eight bills that have passed the House to reopen the government".

Trump's proposal calls for $5.7 billion for border wall funding, $800 million in "urgent humanitarian assistance" and $805 million for drug detection technology and port security. Now, President Trump is offering Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats a top legislative priority of theirs in an effort to end this partial government shutdown.

But even that may be hard without a compromise because the Senate will remain in Republican hands and Trump's signature will be needed to turn any bill into law.

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"Many people are saying that the Mainstream Media will have a very hard time restoring credibility because of the way they have treated me over the past 3 years (including the election lead-up), as highlighted by the disgraceful Buzzfeed story & the even more disgraceful coverage!" he wrote on Twitter.

"I hope once people get past their initial statements, initial reaction, they will really look at the legislation that comes to the floor and see what it is - a honest effort by the president of the United States to take ideas from both political parties", Pence said of lawmakers.

The Associated Press also reported that Trump is "expected to announce that he is open to trading protections for young immigrants in exchange for money for his long-promised border wall", citing three officials who spoke anonymously.

Trump embraced the shutdown in December in large part because of angry warnings from his most ardent supporters that he was passing up on his last, best shot to build the wall before Democrat took control of the House in the new year.

After decades of meaningless rhetoric, Donald Trump entered the political arena and effectively championed the issue of border security and a wall to win the presidency and shock the so-called experts. They shouldn't give in any more.

Special counsel Robert Muller, who is leading the investigation on Trump's potential collusion with Russian officials during the 2016 election, refuted elements of BuzzFeed's report on Friday.

"If they can't do it before January 3, then we will do it", said Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., incoming chairman of the Rules Committee.

Democrats, however, quickly rejected the deal, with Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer of NY emphasizing that Trump's offering some protections for DACA and TPS recipients "in exchange for the wall is not a compromise but more hostage taking".

With the 2020 presidential campaign already in motion, President Trump recognizes the importance of this issue to his chances of winning another term.

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