Border wall showdown could shut down government
by Harvest Prude
Posted 12/17/18, 11:48 am
WASHINGTON—A stalemate over funding for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border could force a partial government shutdown Friday. Lawmakers have not been able to pass a spending bill in either chamber of Congress. The White House wants $5 billion allocated to building the wall, while Democrats have offered no more than $1.6 billion for fencing upgrades and have suggested keeping funding at its current level of $1.3 billion. Republican-proposed solutions, including a stopgap bill, also have not gained traction.
Amid the back-and-forth, the House took a six-day weekend and won’t reconvene until Wednesday, giving Republicans a narrow window of time in which to pass the budget before the shutdown deadline. President Donald Trump said last week in a meeting with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., that he would be “proud” to accept a shutdown if his request of $5 billion for the wall was not met. Schumer vowed Sunday that the president “is not going to get the wall in any form.”
White House senior adviser Stephen Miller reaffirmed on Sunday that the administration has not budged from its position. “We’re going to do whatever is necessary to build the border wall,” he told CBS News.
An NPR/Marist poll taken about two weeks ago found that 57 percent of all Americans say the president should compromise on the border wall. But 65 percent of Republicans say the opposite.
A shutdown would affect about one-quarter of the government, including the departments of Agriculture, Homeland Security, Justice, State, and Transportation.
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Harvest is a reporter for WORLD based in Washington, D.C.