GOP and Democrats trade blame for shutdown, no deal in sight

Dec 30, 2018, 00:31
GOP and Democrats trade blame for shutdown, no deal in sight

Congress adjourned for the week without a resolution in sight.

"I am in the White House waiting for the Democrats to come on over and make a deal on Border Security", Trump wrote on Twitter as the partial government shutdown continued into the eighth day.

President Donald Trump and Democrats are trading blame for the partial government shutdown but doing little substantive talking with each other, as the disruption in federal services and public employees' pay slogs into another weekend. "I am not going to tell you what it is", Mulvaney said.

Mulvaney said Trump is willing to shut down the border, despite the economic hit as $558 billion worth of goods flowed across the border past year, because "all options are on the table" and "it's the only way we can get the Democrats' attention".

Since arriving back at the White House early Thursday from a surprise trip to Iraq, President Donald Trump has had no public events, and aides offered few details about his schedule, other than saying the president was working and making phone calls.

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The president, who had already scrapped a Christmas visit to his Florida golf resort has also "cancelled his plans for New Year's", his incoming chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, said on Fox News. "In January the House of Representatives will hold hearings with witnesses under oath and find out what happened", Representative Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) tweeted in response to the president.

"She can not be seen by her party as being weak on negotiating with Donald Trump", Mulvaney said on Fox News. Republican leadership could play a game of "pin the deal on the donkey" and use the new House speaker as an out to strike an agreement that would have been politically untenable under Republican control - like settling for less money - all the while blaming it on Pelosi.

Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill added that Democrats "are united against the President's immoral, ineffective and expensive wall" and said Democrats won't seriously consider any White House offer unless Trump backs it publicly because he "has changed his position so many times".

Trump, meanwhile, has been hardening his rhetoric and on Saturday said that Democrats have given the Republicans none of the votes they need in the Senate to provide for border security.

"So, we have bills that get taken right out from that paycheck and how are we going to pay them?" she said.

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Trump has threatened to close the border in October and November over a caravan of about 4,000 people from Central America who were traveling to the border. "So we're in this for the long haul", he said.

Trump also said the US would cut off all aid to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador for "taking advantage of (the) USA for years!"

He has repeatedly threatened to cut off USA aid to countries that he deems have not done enough to combat illegal immigration, but thus far he's failed to follow through. "Hard to believe there was a Congress & President who would approve!"

Trump visited San Diego in March to review border wall prototypes commissioned by the Department of Homeland Security, but he has not visited a Border Patrol station or USA port of entry.

"We are not giving up on that - it's why the government is closed, ' Mulvaney said".

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