Democrats have settled on a plan. Shortly after the party takes control of the House of Representatives Thursday they will vote on a package of measures to reopen the federal government. The plan essentially involves two bills that split funding for the Department of Homeland Security and border security with the goal of ensuring that those that enjoy bipartisan support can make it through. The New York Times explains:
The first includes six bipartisan spending measures that would fully fund agencies like the Interior Department and the Internal Revenue Service through the end of the fiscal year in September.
The second would extend homeland security funding at current levels through Feb. 8, including $1.3 billion for fencing but no funding for Mr. Trump’s border wall — a provision that renders it dead on arrival in the Republican-controlled Senate.
The move is in large part designed to put Trump in a corner and pressure him to cave or take responsibility for keeping a large part of the federal government shut over the president’s demand for wall money. For now, it seems the president isn’t willing to budge.
In the middle of tweetstorm that included lots of New Year vitriol, Trump also used the first day of the year to make clear that he would not support the Democratic plan to reopen the government without money for a wall along the border with Mexico. “The Democrats, much as I suspected, have allocated no money for a new Wall. So imaginative!” Trump tweeted. “The problem is, without a Wall there can be no real Border Security - and our Country must finally have a Strong and Secure Southern Border!” That repeated a theme from a tweet from the previous day, when Trump said Democrats “will probably submit a Bill, being cute as always, which gives everything away but gives NOTHING to Border Security, namely the Wall.” The problem is that “Without the Wall there can be no Border Security,” he wrote in the last day of 2018.
Trump went on to claim that all of these latest developments have “proven” that “Democrats do not care about Open Borders and all of the crime and drugs that Open Borders bring!”
Democrats, meanwhile, are accusing Trump of promoting the shutdown, which entered its 11th day Tuesday. “While @realDonaldTrump drags the nation into #TrumpShutdown Week 2 and sits in the White House & tweets, without offering any plan that can pass both chambers of Congress, Democrats are taking action to lead our country out of this mess,” Rep. Nancy Pelosi tweeted Monday as she promoted the Democratic plan to reopen the government. Although Pelosi said it “would be the height of irresponsibility & political cynicism for Senate Republicans to now reject the same legislation they have already supported,” it seems Republicans are willing to do just that. For now, GOP lawmakers appear happy to follow Trump’s lead on this and have said they won’t approve anything that doesn’t have the president’s approval. “It’s simple: The Senate is not going to send something to the president that he won’t sign,” Don Stewart, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, said.
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