WH Closer to Partial Gov't Shutdown 12/17 06:09
Pushing the government to the brink of a partial shutdown, the White House
is insisting that Congress provide $5 billion to build a wall along the
U.S.-Mexico border despite lawmaker resistance from both parties.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Pushing the government to the brink of a partial
shutdown, the White House is insisting that Congress provide $5 billion to
build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border despite lawmaker resistance from both
Without a resolution, parts of the federal government will shut down at
"We're going to do whatever is necessary to build the border wall to stop
this ongoing crisis of illegal immigration," White House senior adviser Stephen
Miller said Sunday.
Asked if that meant having a government shutdown, he said: "If it comes to
Trump said last week he would be "proud" to have a shutdown to get Congress
to approve a $5 billion down payment to fulfill his campaign promise to build a
border wall. But the president doesn't have the votes from the
Republican-controlled Congress to support funding for the wall at that level.
Both parties in Congress have suggested that Trump would likely need to make
the next move to resolve the impasse. The House is taking an extended weekend
break, returning Wednesday night. The Senate returns Monday after a three-day
Democratic congressional leaders, Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi,
have proposed no more than $1.6 billion, as outlined in a bipartisan Senate
bill. The money would not go for the wall but for fencing upgrades and other
border security. Democrats also offered to simply keep funding at its current
level, $1.3 billion.
Showing no signs of budging, Schumer said Sunday that it was up to Trump to
decide whether the federal government will partially shut down, sending
thousands of federal employees home without pay during the holidays.
About one-quarter of the government would be affected, including the
departments of Homeland Security, Transportation, Agriculture, State and
Justice, as well as national parks.
"He is not going to get the wall in any form," Schumer said.
Trump had neither accepted nor rejected the Democrats' proposal as of
Friday, according to the Democrats, telling them he would take a look. Trump
will need Democratic votes either way, now or in the new year, for passage.
Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, the No. 3 Republican in the Senate, said
Republicans remain hopeful they can come up with a proposal that can be
acceptable to Trump and pass both chambers. He suggested that could take the
form of a stopgap bill that extends funding until January, or a longer-term
bill that includes money for border security.
"There are a lot of things you need to do with border security," he said.
"One is a physical barrier but also the technology, the manpower, the
enforcement, all of those things, and our current laws are in some ways an
incentive for people to come to this country illegally, and they go through
great risk and possibly great harm."
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, urged senators to revisit a bill she helped
push earlier this year that would provide $2.5 billion for border security,
including physical barriers as well as technology and border patrol agents.
Schumer declined to say whether Democrats would be willing to consider
proposals other than the two options that he and Pelosi offered.
Republicans "should join us in one of these two proposals, which would get
more than enough votes passed and avoid a shutdown," Schumer said. "Then, if
the president wants to debate the wall next year, he can. I don't think he'll
get it. But he shouldn't use innocent workers as hostage for his temper
Miller and Barrasso spoke on CBS' "Face the Nation," Schumer appeared on
NBC's "Meet the Press," and Collins was on ABC's "This Week."