New hur­dle emerges in bor­der se­cu­rity talks

The White House is not rul­ing out an­other govern­ment shut­down

Tulsa World - - Datelines - By Jonathan Lemire and Alan Fram

WASHINGTON — Bar­gain­ers clashed Sun­day over whether to limit the num­ber of mi­grants au­thor­i­ties can de­tain, toss­ing a new hur­dle be­fore ne­go­tia­tors hop­ing to strike a bor­der se­cu­rity com­pro­mise for Congress to pass this com­ing week. The White House wouldn't rule out a re­newed par­tial govern­ment shut­down if an agree­ment isn't reached.

With the Fri­day dead­line ap­proach­ing, the two sides re­mained sep­a­rated by hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars over how much to spend to con­struct Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump's promised bor­der wall. But ris­ing to the fore was a re­lated dis­pute over curb­ing Cus­toms and Im­mi­gra­tion En­force­ment, or ICE, the fed­eral agency that Repub­li­cans see as an em­blem of tough im­mi­gra­tion poli­cies and Democrats ac­cuse of of­ten go­ing too far.

Act­ing White House chief of staff Mick Mul­vaney, in ap­pear­ances on NBC's “Meet the Press” and “Fox News Sun­day,” said “you ab­so­lutely can­not” elim­i­nate the pos­si­bil­ity of an­other shut­down if a deal is not reached over the wall and other bor­der mat­ters. The White House had asked for $5.7 bil­lion, a fig­ure re­jected by the Demo­cratic-con­trolled House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, and the mood among bar­gain­ers has soured, ac­cord­ing to peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the ne­go­ti­a­tions not au­tho­rized to speak pub­licly about pri­vate talks.

“You can­not take a shut­down off the ta­ble, and you can­not take $5.7 (bil­lion) off the ta­ble,” Mul­vaney told NBC, “but if you end up some­place in the mid­dle, yeah, then what you prob­a­bly see is the pres­i­dent say, `Yeah, OK, and I'll go find the money some­place else.'”

A con­gres­sional deal seemed to stall even af­ter Mul­vaney con­vened a bi­par­ti­san group of law­mak­ers at Camp David. While the two sides seemed close to clinch­ing a deal late last week, sig­nif­i­cant gaps re­main and mo­men­tum ap­pears to have slowed. Though con­gres­sional Demo­cratic aides as­serted that the dis­pute had caused the talks to break off, it was ini­tially un­clear how dam­ag­ing the rift was. Both sides are ea­ger to re­solve the long-run­ning bat­tle and avert a fresh clo­sure of dozens of fed­eral agen­cies that would be­gin next week­end.

“The pres­i­dent is go­ing to build the wall. That's our at­ti­tude at this point,” Mul­vaney said on Fox. “We'll take as much money as you can give us, and we'll go find the money some­where else, legally, and build that wall ..., with or with­out Congress.”

Mul­vaney

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