The Latest: Dems Would OK Money For Border Security, No Wall
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the government shutdown (all times local): 10:20 a.m. A Democratic senator is making clear that Democrats have no intention of giving President Donald Trump the billions of dollars that he wants to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The stalemate has led to a partial government shutdown that's expected to extend past Christmas. Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley says Democrats are "absolutely willing" to commit taxpayer dollars for border security. But when an interviewer asked whether Democrats weren't going to provide any wall money, Merkley responded: "That's correct. None." Merkley tells ABC's "This Week" that "30-foot concrete wall, 30-foot steel spikes, that's not the smart way."
A top White House official says it's "very possible" the partial government shutdown will stretch into next year. Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told "Fox News Sunday" he's awaiting word from Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York after the White House presented a counteroffer in a dispute over funding for President Donald Trump's border wall. Mulvaney declined to outline the offer. But he says it's between Trump's $5.7 billion request and the $1.3 billion Democrats offered. A stalemate over the wall led parts of the government to shut down Saturday after funding for numerous departments and agencies expired. The shutdown was expected to last through Thursday. Both the House and Senate have adjourned until later in the week.
On the second day of the partial government shutdown, President Donald Trump is again turning to Twitter to try to make his case for a border wall with Mexico — the sticking point in the budget impasse with Congress. He says aerial drones and other measures "are wonderful and lots of fun" but they're not the right answer to address the problem of "drugs, gangs, human trafficking, criminal elements and much else from coming into" the United States. Trump says what the country needs is "a good old fashioned Wall that works!" The president is demanding billions of dollars for that wall, but Democrats are opposing it. The stalemate has shut down the government, and it looks like Christmas will be over and done with before the government will have a chance to get fully back to business.
It looks like Christmas will be over and done with before the federal government will have a chance to get fully back to business. Even a temporary measure to end a partial shutdown seems out of reach until the Senate returns for a full session Thursday. President Donald Trump wants money for a border wall with Mexico and Democrats oppose that. The partial shutdown began Saturday and has limited impact over the next few days, because both Monday and Tuesday are federal holidays The first day of the shutdown played out unevenly. The Statue of Liberty was still open for tours, thanks to money from New York state, and the U.S. Post Office was still delivering mail. Yet the disruption is affecting many operations and some 800,000 federal employees.