As clock ticks, new hurdle emerges in border security talks

Feb 11, 2019, 00:53
As clock ticks, new hurdle emerges in border security talks

Congress has until Friday to reach a new deal due to a bill signed by Trump on January 25, reopening the government for three weeks after the longest shutdown in government history, lasting 35 days.

The Homeland Security Department and other agencies are operating on a short-term spending bill that Trump signed January 25, when he ended the nation's longest ever government shutdown after 35 days.

Predictably each side blamed the other for the stall in negotiations.

Last month he said the talks were a "waste of time".

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The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee expressed concern Sunday that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has not adequately scrutinized President Trump's finances and said House investigators plan to probe Trump's relationship with a bank implicated in Russian money laundering.

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney on Sunday said they're closing in on the culprit. Trump has threatened to declare a national emergency to circumvent Congress and build his wall with the military, but that option faces GOP opposition and legal hurdles.

On Sunday President Donald Trump's chief of staff told NBC's "Meet the Press" and Fox's "Fox News Sunday" that there could be another government shutdown if the White House doesn't get what it wants on a US-Mexico border wall.

U.S. budget talks have hit another impasse over immigration, a key Republican negotiator said on Sunday, raising the prospect of a second government shutdown if no agreement is reached by this week's deadline.

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Republican Sen. Richard Shelby, Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee told Fox News Sunday he put the odds of a deal at 50-50. While the two sides are now said to be close to a dollar amount for border barriers, Democrats are making a higher level of funding for barriers contingent on the new cap for detention beds - something Republicans are resisting. Two sources involved said if the bipartisan talks continued at an impasse, House Democrats were considering moving a package that would include a continuing resolution for the Department of Homeland Security through September along with six other outstanding funding measures at full year levels.

At the same time, Democrats were trying to limit the number of detention beds the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency would have access to. Now, with the bad offers being made by them to the Border Committee, I actually believe they want a Shutdown.

The cap Democrats wanted was far too low for them and Republicans argue would force ICE officials to make impossible decisions about which immigrants, including those who might have prior felony records, to detain. On Sunday Trump tweeted that Democrats "are offering very little money for the desperately needed Border Wall & now, out of the blue, want a cap on convicted violent felons to be held in detention!" "We don't want a cap on that", Shelby said.

"We are looking to see if the president is working in the national interest", Schiff said. "I am hopeful that this committee will be able to come up with a proposal that we can all support, that the president can sign", Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) told CNN's State of the Union. "I would say no", Mulvaney said.

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