Congress adjourns for week with no shutdown deal

Arturo Kim
December 28, 2018

Trump has claimed federal workers are behind him in the shutdown fight, saying many told him, "stay out until you get the funding for the wall.'" He didn't say who told him that.

More Americans blame President Donald Trump than congressional Democrats for the partial US government shutdown, a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Thursday found, as lawmakers returned to Washington with no quick end to the shutdown in sight.

Trump's White House had indicated he would sign a short-term spending bill to keep the government open through February 8, but then Trump changed his mind after TV and radio hosts criticized him for caving on his campaign promise to build a wall along the Mexican border. "The White House is engaged in talks with Senate Democrats, and when the Senate acts, the House will be prepared to follow", she said in a statement Thursday evening.

After weeks of failed talks between Trump and congressional leaders, parts of the US government shut down on Saturday, affecting about 800,000 employees of the Departments of Homeland Security, Justice, Agriculture, Commerce and other agencies. Time to get tough on Border Security.

This demand was accepted by the House, but rejected by the Senate where some Democrat support would be needed to pass the bill. "House Republicans were great yesterday!"

The wall dispute coincided with the expiration of funding for about 20 per cent of the Government. The president has long pushed for an end to Senate filibuster rules requiring legislation to clear a 60-vote threshold to pass, a step McConnell has vowed never to take.

Trump alleged that Democrats agreed with him on the need for a wall to protect the southern border, claiming that similar methods in Israel worked almost flawlessly.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has always been a champion of shutdowns. "An Open Southern Border and the large scale crime that comes with such stupidity!"

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Mulvaney withheld specifics but placed the offer at between Trump's $5.7 billion request and $1.3 billion Democrats are offering. Democrats, led by California representative Nancy Pelosi, will take over the House on January 3.

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Meanwhile, Trump's approval rating in Morning Consult's polling just dipped below 40 percent for the first time since he defended the "very fine" neo-Nazis who marched in Charlottesville in the summer of 2017.

The longest federal government shutdown lasting 21 days, occurred in December 1995 and January 1996, triggered by conflicts between President Bill Clinton and congressional Republicans over Medicare funding and government spending. Only a few lawmakers presided over the brief sessions, while congressional leaders and rank-and-file members were nearly entirely absent.

"No matter what happens today in the Senate, Republican House Members should be very proud of themselves", he wrote on Twitter. "The only one that doesn't want the wall are the Democrats". "The president and his team stayed in Washington over Christmas hoping to negotiate a deal that would stop the risky crisis on the border, protect American communities and reopen the government", Sanders said.

"Here's the problem - yeah, here's the problem we have: We have a problem with the Democrats because Nancy Pelosi is calling the shots, not Chuck", Trump said.

This shutdown is the third this year, and this one brings in its wake Trump attacks on the Federal Reserve, a plunging stock market, troop withdrawals from Syria and general upheaval inside the president's administration. His opponents, including some in his Republican party, accuse the president of exaggerating the danger from illegal immigration for his own political gain.

"First of all, the fact ... that he says, "We're going to build a wall with cement, and Mexico's going to pay for it" while he's already backed off of the cement - now he's down to, I think, a beaded curtain or something, I'm not sure where he is", Pelosi said.

Trump defended his wall proposal Friday morning, suggesting he has the technological expertise to stop immigrants from entering the USA illegally.

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