Shutdown latest: Steel walls and national emergencies
by Harvest Prude
Posted 1/07/19, 12:07 pm
WASHINGTON—Despite negotiations over the weekend, the White House and congressional lawmakers made little headway toward agreeing on a federal budget and ending the partial government shutdown that has extended into a third week. President Donald Trump said Sunday he still wants $5.7 billion for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, but he offered to build it with steel rather than concrete. He said if Democrats still refused to negotiate, he might declare a national emergency to build the wall without funding from Congress.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said reopening the government is entirely up to the White House. Since Democrats took control of the House on Thursday, they have passed a series of bills to reopen some departments through the end of the fiscal year. They also passed a separate measure to fund the Department of Homeland Security into February, but it does not include money for the wall. The legislation closely resembles a bipartisan funding bill passed in the Senate last month. That bill also did not include wall funding, causing the then-GOP-led House to not consider it before handing over control to Democrats.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the president must negotiate a deal with Democrats and that Senate Republicans will not take up any legislation Trump will not support. Despite the stalemate, House Democrats have indicated they will continue to pass individual bills to reopen government departments piecemeal.
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Harvest is a reporter for WORLD based in Washington, D.C.