Trump, Democrats Still Far From Border Wall Deal
U.S. leaders remain at an impasse as House Democrats plan to pass legislation Thursday that would fund many of the government agencies currently shut down, but without money for a border wall that President Donald Trump insists is necessary for security.
The legislative effort, which is set to take place when the new Congress goes into session with Democrats holding a majority in the House, has two pieces. One would fund most shuttered agencies through the end of September, while the other would give the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) its funding through Feb 8.
As with previous Democratic proposals, the DHS funding would not include money for the wall.
Trump has taken to Twitter several times to express his viewpoint, including fresh posts Monday saying "without the Wall there can be no Border Security."
"The Democrats will probably submit a Bill, being cute as always, which gives everything away but gives NOTHING to Border Security, namely the Wall," Trump wrote.
House speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer released a joint statement Monday calling for Republican support for the legislation.
"It would be the height of irresponsibility and political cynicism for Senate Republicans to now reject the same legislation they have already supported,'' the statement said.
Trump wants $5 billion as a down payment on the barrier that could cost more than $20 billion to build, while Democrats have offered to approve $1.3 billion for other border security efforts.
Trump and Democratic lawmakers have not held any negotiations for days over the dispute. The ongoing shutdown of a quarter of U.S. government operations means 380,000 government workers are furloughed while another 420,000 are still working, but will not be paid until the funding dispute is resolved.