Shutdown Logjam Remains Over Border 01/22 05:59

Shutdown Logjam Remains Over Border    01/22 05:59

   Thirty days into the partial government shutdown, Democrats and Republicans 
appeared no closer to ending the impasse Sunday than when it began, with 
President Donald Trump lashing out at his opponents after they dismissed a plan 
he'd billed as a compromise.

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- Thirty days into the partial government shutdown, 
Democrats and Republicans appeared no closer to ending the impasse Sunday than 
when it began, with President Donald Trump lashing out at his opponents after 
they dismissed a plan he'd billed as a compromise.

   Trump had offered the previous day to temporarily extend protections for 
young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children and those fleeing 
disaster zones in exchange for $5.7 billion for his border wall. But Democrats 
said the three-year proposal didn't go nearly far enough.

   On Sunday, Trump branded House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a "radical" and said she 
was acting "irrationally." The president also tried to fend off criticism from 
the right, as conservatives accused him of embracing "amnesty" for immigrants 
in the country illegally.

   "No, Amnesty is not a part of my offer," Trump tweeted, noting that he'd 
offered temporary, three-year extensions --- not permanent relief. But he 
added: "Amnesty will be used only on a much bigger deal, whether on immigration 
or something else."

   The criticism from both sides underscored Trump's boxed in-position as he 
tries to win at least some Democratic buy-in without alienating his base.

   With hundreds of thousands of federal workers set to face another federal 
pay period without paychecks, the issue passed to the Senate, where Majority 
Leader Mitch McConnell has agreed to bring Trump's proposal to the floor this 
week.

   Democrats say there's little chance the measure will reach the 60-vote 
threshold usually required to advance legislation in the Senate. Republicans 
have a 53-47 majority, which means they need at least some Democrats to vote in 
favor.

   McConnell has long tried to avoid votes on legislation that is unlikely to 
become law. And the Kentucky Republican has said for weeks that he has no 
interest in "show votes" aimed only at forcing members to take sides after 
Trump rejected the Senate's earlier bipartisan bill to avert the shutdown.

   What's unclear is how McConnell will bring Trump's plan forward --- or when 
voting will begin. The Republican leader is a well-known architect of 
complicated legislative maneuvers. One question is whether he would allow a 
broader immigration debate with amendments to Trump's plan on the Senate floor.

   McConnell spokesman David Popp said Sunday, "When we have (a plan) we will 
be sure to let everyone know."

   One key Republican, Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, said that he and other 
lawmakers had been encouraging the White House to put an offer on the table --- 
any offer --- to get both sides talking.

   "Get something out there the president can say, 'I can support this,' and it 
has elements from both sides, put it on the table, then open it up for debate," 
Lankford said on ABC's "This Week."

   "The vote this week in the Senate is not to pass the bill, it is to open up 
and say 'Can we debate this? Can we amend it? Can we make changes?'" Lankford 
said. "Let's find a way to be able to get the government open because there are 
elements in this that are clearly elements that have been supported by 
Democrats strongly in the past."

   "The president really wants to come to an agreement here. He has put offers 
on the table," said Rep Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., on NBC's "Meet the Press." ''The 
responsible thing for the Democrats to do is put a counteroffer on the table if 
you don't like this one."

   Vice President Mike Pence said on "Fox News Sunday" that Trump had "set the 
table for a deal that will address the crisis on our border, secure our border 
and give us a pathway" to reopen the government.

   Democrats, however, continue to say that they will not negotiate with Trump 
until he ends the shutdown, the longest in American history.

   "The starting point of this negotiation ought to be reopening the 
government," Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., told NBC. "We cannot reward the kind of 
behavior of hostage taking. Because if the president can arbitrarily shut down 
the government now, he will do it time and again."

   As news media reported the outline of Trump's proposal ahead of his Saturday 
speech, Pelosi and other Democrats made clear the president's plan was a 
non-starter --- a quick reaction Trump took issue with Sunday.

   "Nancy Pelosi and some of the Democrats turned down my offer yesterday 
before I even got up to speak. They don't see crime & drugs, they only see 
2020," he said in first of a flurry of morning tweets.

   Trump also lashed out at Pelosi personally --- something he had refrained 
from early on --- and accused her, without evidence, of having "behaved so 
irrationally" and moving "so far to the left that she has now officially become 
a Radical Democrat."

   He also appeared to threaten to target millions of people living in the 
country illegally if he doesn't eventually get his way, writing that "there 
will be no big push to remove the 11,000,000 plus people who are here 
illegally-but be careful Nancy!"

   Pelosi responded with a tweet of her own, urging Trump to "Re-open the 
government, let workers get their paychecks and then we can discuss how we can 
come together to protect the border."

   Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer also dug in during an appearance in 
New York, where he predicted Democrats would block the president's proposal 
from passing the Senate.

   "If he opens the government, we'll discuss whatever he offers, but hostage 
taking should not work," Schumer said as he pushed legislation that would 
protect government workers who can't pay their bills because of the government 
shutdown. "It's very hard to negotiate when a gun is held to your head."


(KA)

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