Published: Tue, January 22, 2019
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Democrats aren't buying Trump's 'compromise' to end the shutdown

Democrats aren't buying Trump's 'compromise' to end the shutdown

US President Donald Trump is set to propose a deal meant to end a 29-day partial government shutdown, a source familiar with his plan says.

In exchange for his proposed $5.7 billion border wall, Trump on Saturday offered three-year extensions of two immigration programs supported by Democrats.

The Virginia Democrats, who represent many thousands of government employees in their state next to Washington, DC, issued a joint statement criticizing the President for not acknowledging "the pain and suffering" he has caused to those affected by the shutdown and said the first step to immigration reform needs to include reopening the government.

Trump also offered to extend the Temporary Protected Status program that blocks deportation of certain immigrants fleeing civil unrest or natural disasters.

"President Donald Trump has pushed back after receiving criticism from right-wing pundits who took aim at his offer to allow DACA and TPS immigrants to remain in the USA for three more years, vowing that "amnesty" is not on the table". Trump's proposal also includes a three-year extension of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) that now lets people from certain countries stay in the United States if they left their homes to escape wars, disasters, or "other extraordinary and temporary conditions".

On "Fox News Sunday", Pence held out hope that some rank-and-file Democrats would break from their leadership and back the president's package. Pelosi called the offer a "compilation of several previously rejected initiatives, each of which is unacceptable".

Congress takes up legislation this week to reopen the federal government following a new offer from President Trump, but divergent efforts in the House and Senate look destined to go nowhere, leaving the month-old stalemate no closer to resolution.

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.

"We put a deal on the table a year ago to say, we will give you the border security money that you want" in return for a path to citizenship for all "Dreamers", she said on ABC's "This Week". Officials said the exemption would apply to about 300,000 people who now live in the USA under the program.

The Trump administration also provided money for states to administer food stamps through February, but has said it can not guarantee benefits would continue should the shutdown stretch into March.

The impacts of the record-breaking partial government shutdown are continuing to escalate.

Republicans hold a 53-47 majority in the Senate, but major legislation in the chamber nearly always requires a 60-vote majority. House Democrats plan to offer more border security legislative proposals this week. But the House legislation is dead on arrival in the Senate, where McConnell has made clear he will not advance any spending bills Trump won't sign.

Pelosi, of California, fired back at Trump on Twitter, urging him to "re-open the government, let workers get their paychecks and then we can discuss how we can come together to protect the border".

During her weekly segment on MSNBC's AM Joy, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) delivered a scathing opening argument for Congress to bring articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump immediately.

The partial shutdown, which affects about a quarter of the federal government, began on December 22 after lawmakers failed to reach an agreement on funding for border security. Trump cast the proposal, which offered extended deportation protections for undocumented immigrants in exchange for $5.7 billion for a border barrier, as a compromise as he sought to shift pressure to Democrats to end the government shutdown.

According to the "New York Times", an internal struggle played out in the West Wing in recent days between Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law, and Stephen Miller, the immigration hardliner who has Mr Trump's ear.

Kushner conceded in a briefing after the president's speech that he did not see the proposal as a solution for the DACA program, which Trump moved to rescind in 2017. "If we open up the government I am open to negotiations", he wrote in a tweet.

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