Short on so­lu­tions, long on blame in 2nd week­end

The News-Times (Sunday) - - Obituaries/news -

Cooped up in the White House af­ter can­cel­ing a va­ca­tion to his pri­vate Florida club, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump fired Twit­ter barbs at Democrats on Sat­ur­day as talks to end a week­long par­tial gov­ern­ment shut­down re­mained at a stale­mate.

As the dis­rup­tion in fed­eral ser­vices and pub­lic em­ploy­ees’ pay ap­peared set to con­tinue into the new year, there were no signs of any sub­stan­tive ne­go­ti­a­tion be­tween the blame-trad­ing par­ties. Trump held out for bil­lions in fed­eral funds for a bor­der wall be­tween the U.S. and Mex­ico, which Democrats have said they were in­tent on block­ing.

Trump tweeted Sat­ur­day that he was “in the White House wait­ing for the Democrats to come on over and make a deal on Bor­der Se­cu­rity.” But there has been lit­tle di­rect con­tact be­tween the sides dur­ing the stale­mate, and Trump did not ask Repub­li­cans, who hold a monopoly on power in Wash­ing­ton for an­other five days, to keep Congress in ses­sion.

As he called for Democrats to ne­go­ti­ate on the wall, Trump brushed off crit­i­cism that his ad­min­is­tra­tion bore any re­spon­si­bil­ity for the re­cent deaths of two mi­grant chil­dren in Bor­der Pa­trol cus­tody. Trump claimed the deaths were “strictly the fault of the Democrats and their pa­thetic im­mi­gra­tion poli­cies that al­low peo­ple to make the long trek think­ing they can en­ter our coun­try il­le­gally.” His com­ments on Twit­ter came as his Home­land Se­cu­rity sec­re­tary met with med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als and or­dered pol­icy changes meant to bet­ter pro­tect chil­dren de­tained at the bor­der.

Trump ear­lier had upped the brinkman­ship by threat­en­ing anew to close the bor­der with Mex­ico to press Congress to cave to his de­mand for money to pay for a wall. Democrats are vow­ing to pass leg­is­la­tion restor­ing the gov­ern­ment as soon as they take con­trol of the House on Thurs­day, but that won’t ac­com­plish any­thing un­less Trump and the Repub­li­can­con­trolled Se­nate go along with it.

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