2019-02-11 21:20:561 Oct 2018 01:53 AM EST
To the surprise of no one, Donald Trump is blaming the Democrats for so far not being able to work out a deal for border security funding to avoid another government shutdown.
Last week many were hopeful that a deal was possible. The 17-member bipartisan committee of lawmakers was given the task of negotiating a deal within a two-week time frame with the deadline approaching on February 15.
That time was determined by Trump who ended the first government shutdown that lasted longer than a month, promising that he would either either shut the government down again or declare a national emergency to use funding earmarked for the Army Corps of Engineers to fund his elusive border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
One of the negotiators, Sen. Richard Alabama (R-AL), appeared on Fox News over the weekend and declared the talks were "stalled." He added, "I'm hoping we can get off the dime because time is ticking away."
One sticking point is the amount being offered for border security and what it will be used for. Trump is demanding $5.7 billion for some type of physical barrier, while the Democrats have moved up from $1.3 billion to $2 billion and have vowed they will not agree to any more.
The other sticking point is that the Democrats want to limit the amount of beds in detention facilities that house undocumented immigrants who are being detained. They want this limit so that peaceful immigrants are overlooked, while serious criminals are detained and take up those beds.
"A cap on ICE detention beds will force the Trump administration to prioritize deportation for criminals and people who pose real security threats, not law-abiding immigrants who are contributing to our country," explained Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) in a statement.
Before the first shutdown began in December, Trump announced he would be "proud to shut down the government." This comment made it hard for him to escape blame for the shutdown, with polls showing that many blame him.
"I actually believe they want a shutdown," he tweeted on Sunday, referring to the Democrats. He suggested the party was trying to take the attention away from the Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam and Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax in Virginia who are being urged to resign over racist and sexual misconduct accusations.
"They want a new subject!" the president insisted, although it appears he's doing the same. Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker was questioned on Friday by the House Judiciary Committee but avoided questions regarding whether Trump was trying to end some of the investigations that are dogging him.
Mick Mulvaney, Budget director and acting chief of staff, appeared on "Meet the Press" and indicated a second shutdown over the same matter "absolutely cannot" be ruled out, although many Congressional GOP members hope to do that.
He said Trump will "take whatever money Congress agrees to allocate for border barriers" and then "go off and find the money someplace else, legally," vowing that the wall "is going to get built, with or without Congress."
Trump also implied on Twitter that Democratic negotiators are being prevented by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Chuck Schumer from altering their initial plans for Trump's "desperately-needed border wall."
The last time the Democrats and Republicans agreed on border funding was before the first shutdown, and that was voided by Trump himself.
Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) believes this is where the fault lies and believes a deal could be reached in "less than a day if Mulvaney were president," after attending talks led by Mulvaney at Camp David.
"I think the big problem here is this has become pretty much an ego negotiation," he added. "This really isn't over substance."
22 August, 2019
By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Jair Bolsonaro (Image source: Public domain) After last year's wildfires in California, the United States knows a little about the pain of going......More
22 August, 2019
By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Jay Inslee (Image source: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons) The second Democratic nominee in a week has dropped out of the race for the 2020......More
22 August, 2019
New research reveals older people with a weak hand grip could signal diminished cognitive and memory. Loss of handgrip by 11 pounds put people at a 10% risk of cognitive impairment and an 18% risk......More