McConnell Says 'No Deal' to House's Bill to Reopen the Government

Adjust Comment Print

President Trump met with Democratic leaders Wednesday in their first face-to-face meeting since the partial government shutdown began 12 days ago.

The White House visit by Pelosi and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer was their first since their televised showdown with Trump in the Oval Office last month.

Trump has invited congressional leaders to return to the White House on Friday to resume negotiations, but the signals coming from the White House and from Democrats right now seem to suggest neither side is willing to bend at this point. Sen. NBC's Savannah Guthrie asked Pelosi in an interview slated to air in full Thursday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, though, said he will not take up legislation that Trump has not endorsed, which means the shutdown will continue.

For Republicans, the Pelosi bill is a waste of time and does nothing to strengthen America's national security. Or, he can block the bill from going to a vote at all, and share the blame with Trump for the shutdown as, in the other chamber of the Capitol, Pelosi and House Democrats cast themselves as the sole adults who are trying to get the government reopened and back to work.

At a cabinet meeting prior to the briefing, Trump warned that parts of the government would could remain closed for a "a long time" without a deal. "Nothing for the wall". Meanwhile the White House is saying the shutdown could continue for weeks unless Democrats make an offer closer to the $5.6 billion Trump is seeking.

More news: Trump Tweets At Brazil's New President Jair Bolsonaro. Bolsonaro Responds In Kind
More news: Aaron Rodgers Evaluated for Concussion, Exits Packers vs. Lions
More news: Migrants detained on Kent beach after risking their lives crossing English Channel

The House passed a version of an appropriations bill before the partial shutdown with $5.6 billion for wall construction and that included funding for a variety of agencies and departments, including Homeland Security, NASA, and the IRS.

Trump also rejected his own administration's offer to accept $2.5 billion for the wall. The White House has called such a legislative package a "non-starter". After presenting their proposal, Chuck Schumer, the Senate Democratic leader, asked the president if he had any good reason, one good reason to oppose that. Some wall and fencing has been replaced during the Trump administration, but there is little new wall barriers that have been established along the 2,000-mile border. Outside economists and trade experts, however, said the revisions in the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Trump has rebranded the United States Mexico Canada Agreement, will not bring in to the U.S. Treasury anywhere near what is necessary to pay for a wall. Since becoming president, though, he has shifted this promise, saying the money must come from US taxpayers. His demand infuriated many Republicans who had been working to avoid a shutdown, but most have followed his lead and are insisting Democrats broker some sort of compromise. "He could not give a good answer", Schumer said.

Democrats have signaled a willingness to approve $1.3 billion in funds for border security in an extension of existing spending levels, a portion of which can be used to replace and fix existing sections of wall and fencing.

The "briefing" from Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen barely got off the ground, not that she was likely to change any minds.

Pence proposed a compromise nearly two weeks ago in a closed-door meeting with Democrats just hours before a shutdown of parts of government that lacked appropriations for the current fiscal year. Major agencies like the Pentagon and the Health and Human Services Department have already been funded through the end of the fiscal year September 30, thanks to spending bills passed by Congress earlier last year.

Comments