Shut­down looms as bor­der talks break down over im­mi­gra­tion en­force­ment

Marysville Appeal-Democrat - - OBITUARIES / GRAMMYS / NATION - The Washington Post

WASHINGTON – The na­tion faces the real pos­si­bil­ity of an­other govern­ment shut­down at the end of the week, af­ter bi­par­ti­san talks aimed at avert­ing that out­come broke down in a dis­pute over im­mi­gra­tion en­force­ment, law­mak­ers and aides said Sun­day.

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s bor­der wall de­mands, which pre­cip­i­tated the record-long 35-day shut­down that ended late last month, were a sec­ondary is­sue in the im­passe that de­vel­oped over the week­end, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cials in both par­ties.

In­stead, af­ter look­ing promis­ing for days, the del­i­cate ne­go­ti­a­tions col­lapsed over Democrats’ in­sis­tence on lim­it­ing the num­ber of unau­tho­rized im­mi­grants who can be de­tained by the U.S. Im­mi­gra­tion and Cus­toms En­force­ment agency. The break­down in talks made it un­likely that law­mak­ers will be able to fi­nal­ize an agree­ment to­day, as they’d hope to do so it could pass the House and Sen­ate be­fore Fri­day night’s dead­line.

“I think the talks are stalled right now,” Sen­ate Ap­pro­pri­a­tions Chair­man Richard Shelby of Alabama, the lead Repub­li­can ne­go­tia­tor, said on Fox News Sun­day. “I’m not con­fi­dent we’re go­ing to get there.”

The stale­mate left the path for­ward to keep­ing the govern­ment open un­clear.

There were some be­hind-the-scenes ef­forts to sal­vage the talks Sun­day evening, but it was un­cer­tain whether they would be suc­cess­ful.

The Home­land Se­cu­rity Depart­ment along with State, Agri­cul­ture, Com­merce and a num­ber of other fed­eral agen­cies are cur­rently op­er­at­ing on a stop­gap spend­ing bill that Trump signed Jan. 25. There’s lit­tle ap­petite for an­other short­term fund­ing ex­ten­sion, but with­out some ac­tion by mid­night on Feb. 15, those agen­cies will run out of money and be­gin to shut down again.

An­other fund­ing lapse could af­fect many Amer­i­cans within days, be­cause one of the agen­cies that would go un­funded dur­ing the shut­down is the IRS, which is pro­cess­ing tax re­turns for mil­lions of peo­ple. Dur­ing the 35-day shut­down that be­gan in late De­cem­ber, thou­sands of IRS of­fi­cials re­fused to show up for work with­out pay, back­log­ging the tax fil­ing process.

The pres­i­dent, who is sched­uled to hold a rally in El Paso, Texas, tonight that’s likely to fo­cus on his de­mands for more bor­der se­cu­rity, ref­er­enced the dis­agree­ment in a tweet on Sun­day.

Law­mak­ers on the 17-mem­ber con­fer­ence com­mit­tee had been trad­ing of­fers over how much money could go to bar­ri­ers along the U.s.-mex­ico bor­der, and were look­ing at be­tween $1.3 bil­lion and $2 bil­lion – far short of the $5.7 bil­lion Trump had de­manded. The White House had be­gun to sig­nal flex­i­bil­ity on that is­sue, even though Trump would end up with much less money than he sought, and the en­hanced fenc­ing or other bar­ri­ers agreed to by Congress would fall short of the 200plus miles of steel walls he’d wanted.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.