Published: Tue, January 01, 2019
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Democrats offer plan to end shutdown, but no wall funds

Democrats offer plan to end shutdown, but no wall funds

Outgoing White House chief John Kelly said in an interview published Sunday that he had "nothing but compassion" for undocumented migrants crossing into the United States, and undercut President Donald Trump's claims to be building a "wall" at the Mexico border.

Speaking of the wall, Gen. Kelly said that after consultation with border patrol agents it became clear that a continuous, opaque structure would not be suitable for stemming the flow of illegal immigrants.

"We've got to really learn how to play jujitsu with the president and figure out how to take the wall issue and show the American people that we are the modern party who will actually secure the border and also be for a compassionate immigration system that recognizes the benefits of immigration and diversity", Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), said in an interview Monday. Trump is insisting that Democrats fund the wall, which they oppose. Trump still said "wall' for most of the last two years".

In one of his many tweets since the shutdown started, Trump wrote: "We will be forced to close the Southern Border entirely if the Obstructionist Democrats do not give us the money to finish the Wall & also change the ridiculous immigration laws that our Country is saddled with". Top Democrats, meanwhile, said they had made their position against additional wall funding known and awaited a counteroffer from Trump and Republicans.

When asked by CNN whether a pathway to citizenship for the DACA population would be on the table in discussions, Graham said: "Not for $5 billion". A senior Democratic aide said in response that Trump hasn't weighed in publicly on Graham's latest suggestion, adding that the president appears unwilling to find a way out of the shutdown he championed.

The wall has been at the center of an impasse that has led to a partial government shutdown that will extend into 2019.

"I campaigned on Border Security, which you can not have without a strong and powerful Wall", he said.

"And negotiation by definition has to include both sides", Conway said.

There has been little contact between the White House and congressional Democrats for more than a week, other than the Republican president's Twitter barbs, as the two parties remain divided over his insistence on funding for a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border. However, the executive and legislative branches will only be controlled by Republicans for another three days, after which Democrats will gain majority control over the House of Representatives.

In other words, Democrats will seek to detach the border wall fight with the president from other appropriations and kick the final reckoning on border security into February.

"We attach high (75 percent) odds on the White House and new Congress resolving differences to the government shutdown next week", said Charles Gabriel, an analyst at policy research and strategy firm Capital Alpha Partners.

The partial government shutdown is in its second week over Trump's demand for $5bn for the wall. "Veterans on President Trump's handling of Border Security - 62% Approval Rating", Trump tweeted Sunday, referring to AP VoteCast, a nationwide survey of more than 115,000 midterm voters - including more than 4,000 current and former service members - conducted for The Associated Press by NORC at the University of Chicago.

Democrats will include that $1.3 billion in the measure they plan to pass on Thursday.

"It's simple: The Senate is not going to send something to the President that he won't sign", said Don Stewart, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Thus, President Trump may well feel emboldened to risk a lengthy shutdown in the hopes that voters will continue to not view a shutdown as catastrophically as the media.

The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Like this: