White House signals some compromise in ending U.S. government shutdown




  • In World/Europe
  • 2019-01-06 16:47:53Z
  • By By Ginger Gibson and Jeff Mason
 

WASHINGTON, Jan 6 (Reuters) - Showing signs of compromise, the White House signaled on Sunday that talks to reopen the federal government could produce a deal in which President Donald Trump moves away from his demand that a proposed barrier along the southern border be a concrete wall.

The possible concession, which comes days after Trump had floated a barrier of steel instead of a concrete wall, came even as a top official warned that the shutdown, now in its third week, could "drag on a lot longer."

Trump, speaking to reporters outside the White House on Sunday, repeated his threat that if he is unhappy with negotiations in a few days, he could declare a national emergency and use the military to construct a wall, circumventing Congress. He also said he was willing to accept a steel barrier instead of a concrete wall.

Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, said in an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press" program that agreeing to a steel separation would allow Democrats to stick to their refusal to fund a wall.

"That should help us move in the right direction," said Mulvaney, who is also the head of the Office of Management and Budget.

Democrats have signaled they could accept a deal that precluded a concrete wall but provided funding for a steel barrier. But they would likely demand other concessions, like protections for immigrants brought to the United States as children, otherwise known as Dreamers, or changes to other spending provisions.

Mulvaney said negotiations between his staff and congressional Democrats were bogged down in technical requests after the two sides met on Saturday morning.

"I think this is going to drag on a lot longer. I think that's by intention," said Mulvaney, who is serving as the top White House aide in an acting capacity.

Large chunks of the federal government were shut down on Dec. 22 after lawmakers and the president hit an impasse over Trump's demands to build a wall. About 800,000 government workers are either furloughed or working without pay.

Trump is demanding that any funding to keep the federal government operational also include $5.6 billion to begin building a $23 billion a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico.

Trump said on Sunday that he should not have to lower his demand for $5.6 billion in border security funding.

Mulvaney said on CNN's "State of the Union" program broadcast on Sunday that the latest round of negotiations held Saturday was "disappointing."

"We're asking for $5.6 billion. They're offering us zero," Mulvaney said.

Democratic Senator Doug Jones, appearing on the same program, said the White House has not presented a plan to use the money.

"I think that we have to talk about border security. We haven't seen a plan to talk about border security," Jones said. "I'm not going to give wall money just to give wall money. I'd like to see a plan for how that money is going to be spent."

Democrats, who took control of the House of Representatives last week, passed a bill to reopen the government without providing additional funding for the wall, and have insisted that reopening the government should not be contingent upon wall construction funds.

House Democrats plan to pass a series of bills this week to reopen government, breaking up the legislation they have already approved in a bid to get Republicans to agree to reopen parts of the government, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said on "Meet the Press."

"We need to open up government and then negotiate. Not the other way around," Hoyer said. (Reporting by Ginger Gibson and Jeff Mason; Additional reportering by Amanda Becker; Editing by Angus MacSwan and Jeffrey Benkoe)

COMMENTS

More Related News

Trump launches 2020 bid with vow to
Trump launches 2020 bid with vow to 'keep America great'
  • World
  • 2019-06-19 02:53:11Z

President Donald Trump launched his 2020 reelection campaign Tuesday much the same way he rode to power in 2016 -- with a raucous, nationalist rally stirring fear of illegal immigration and vowing to fight for blue collar workers. Lashing out at his Democratic opponents as radical leftists fueled by

US restores some aid but vows no more without migrant action
US restores some aid but vows no more without migrant action

The Trump administration said Monday it is easing previously announced cuts in hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the Central American nations of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala but will not allow new funding until those countries do more to reduce migrant flows to the United States. The State Department said that after a review of more than $600 million in assistance that President Donald Trump ordered in March to be cut entirely, it would go ahead with about $400 million in projects and grants that had been previously approved.

As promised, Trump slashes aid to Central America over migrants
As promised, Trump slashes aid to Central America over migrants

U.S. President Donald Trump's administration on Monday cut hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, after Trump blasted the three countries because thousands of their citizens had sought asylum at the U.S. border with Mexico. The plan will likely encounter stiff opposition in Congress. Lawmakers, including some of Trump's fellow Republicans as well as Democrats, have chafed against the president's repeated decisions to disregard spending bills passed by Congress, some of which he has signed into law himself.

Pompeo tries rallying foreign leaders in alleged oil attacks
Pompeo tries rallying foreign leaders in alleged oil attacks

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is reaching out to wary foreign leaders to frame alleged Iranian attacks in a Middle East oil shipping route as a problem for the world at large, especially for Asian countries vitally dependent on that oil. Pompeo, in a series of Sunday television interviews, emphasized the U.S. international outreach in the wake of what the U.S. says were Iranian attacks Thursday on two oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz . The world needs to unite," Pompeo said.

Trump to Stephanopoulos:
Trump to Stephanopoulos: 'I Like the Truth,' I Didn't Sit for Mueller Interview Because He'd 'Get Us for Lies'

President Trump appeared to be obsessed with the Mueller report during his wide-ranging interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos, insisting that he read the special counsel's report while repeatedly claiming it says there was "no collusion" despite Robert Mueller stating specifically that no determination was reached on the concept of collusion.While speaking to Stephanopoulos in the back of the president's limousine, the president was asked what his pitch to swing voters "on the fence" would be, prompting Trump to quickly pivot to the Russia investigation, which he called a "phony witch hunt.""Mueller comes out-there's no collusion," the president declared. "And essentially a...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Europe

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.