Trump’s proposal to break budget deadlock falls flat

- Associated Press, WASHINGTON

Jan 23, 2019-

Senate Republicans have released a measure designed around President Donald Trump’s proposal for breaking a budget impasse, its centerpiece his demand for $5.7 billion to build a southern border wall all but guaranteeing Democratic opposition and no foreseeable end to a partial government shutdown.

As the shutdown dragged through its fifth week, another missed paycheck loomed for hundreds of thousands of workers.

Voting in Congress was not expected to unfold until later in the week. Even then it seemed doubtful that the 1,300-page measure, dubbed the “End The Shutdown And Secure The Border Act,” had any chance of passing swiftly. Senate Republicans hold a 53-47 majority but would need Democrats to reach the usual 60-vote threshold for bills to advance. Not a single Democrat publicly expressed support for Trump’s proposal since he announced it over the weekend.

Details of the measure released late Monday highlight the trade-off of border wall funding for temporary protection from deportation for some immigrants. The Republican package would reopen the shuttered parts of the government and boost some spending. To try to draw more bipartisan support, it adds $12.7 billion in supplemental funding for regions hit by hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disasters.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer’s office reiterated earlier Monday that Democrats are unwilling to negotiate any border security funding until Trump reopens the government.

“Nothing has changed with the latest Republican offer,” Schumer spokesman Justin Goodman said. “President Trump and Senate Republicans are still saying: ‘Support my plan or the government stays shut.’ That isn’t a compromise or a negotiation — it’s simply more hostage taking.”

While the House and the Senate are scheduled to be back in session Tuesday, no votes have been scheduled on Trump’s plan. And senators, who will be given 24-hour notice ahead of voting, have yet to be recalled to Washington.

McConnell spokesman David Popp said Monday that the GOP leader “will move” to vote on consideration of the president’s proposal “this week.”

Published: 23-01-2019 11:23

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