Discussions to prevent another government shutdown fell apart over the weekend, and both sides of the political aisle are now considering a stopgap measure to provide a temporary solution.
Budget negotiations have been in a pinch with lawmakers desperate to fund the federal government past February 15th.
According to reports, Democrat lawmakers are now seeking concessions on how Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) conducts the business of enforcing the law not just at the border, but for those already in the country illegally.
Politico notes that Democrats want to see a cap on the number of detention beds ICE can use.
“Democratic negotiators offered a deal to their Republican counterparts, but Republicans are refusing to negotiate until Democrats take back their demand for a cap on the number of beds used for undocumented immigrants who have committed crimes,” the report states, citing multiple sources.
The resistance party just continues to shift focus to avoid negotiating actual border security.
“We’ve got some problems with the Democrats dealing with ICE,” Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby told Fox News. “I’m not confident we’re going to get there. I’m hoping we will get there.”
The failure of border-security talks increases the likelihood of another U.S. government shutdown on Friday https://t.co/SvWtXr9nPH
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) February 11, 2019
White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney stated on Sunday that another shutdown “absolutely cannot” be ruled out at this stage.
With another shutdown becoming a distinct possibility, it also raises the odds of President Trump bypassing Congress and declaring a national emergency in order to access funding for his border wall.
“The massive amount of aliens who unlawfully enter the United States each day is a direct threat to the safety and security of our nation and constitutes a national emergency,” a draft version of the proclamation reads.
“There are pots of money where presidents, all presidents, have access to without a national emergency” declaration, Mulvaney added, suggesting another route still.
Pelosi Vows No Shutdown
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week vowed that when the deadline for funding the federal government arrives, House and Senate lawmakers would work out a deal to avoid another shutdown.
“There will not be another shutdown,” she insisted. “No, it’s not going to happen.”
Despite media coverage to the contrary, Pelosi took the biggest hit when it came to approval rating during the first shutdown.
More NBC/WSJ poll: Pelosi’s negatives shot up during government shutdown more than any pol // now the most unpopular politician tested in the survey. pic.twitter.com/pSMBFydwx7
— Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) January 27, 2019
Still, nobody really came out of the first shutdown with a positive view from the American people, so it would behoove lawmakers to iron out a deal.
Whereas both sides seemed confident days ago, Shelby now puts the odds of that happening at “50-50.”