Two Competing Plans To End Shutdown, One With Border Wall Funding, Fail In Senate
The stalemate over border security between President Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers and their Democratic counterparts thus means the government shutdown — which entered its 34th day on Thursday — will continue.
Trump’s plan that demanded $5.7 billion for the steel border barrier failed with 50 “yes” votes and 47 “no” votes. The second bill — which excluded border wall funding and would have provided additional federal funds through Feb. 8 — earned 52 votes for and 44 votes against. Each package required 60 votes to pass.
Six GOP lawmakers broke party ranks to vote for the bill that excluded wall funds. This result shows that despite many House Republicans being opposed to Trump’s views on the barrier and shutdown, the overwhelming majority of the Senate remains loyal to the president.
Last weekend, Trump proposed a plan that in exchange for border wall funds would offer limited protections for immigrants, especially young migrants who came to the U.S. as children under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. However, Democrats rejected this offer.
Democratic leaders called the Senate’s bill on Thursday a “nonstarter,” largely because it significantly reduced DACA eligibility criteria and extended it for just three years. The plan also reportedly made changes regarding asylum laws that would make it harder for refugees fleeing persecution and violence to come to the U.S.
“I’m still optimistic in the goodness of the Republicans in the Senate, that they will care enough about these people that they will say, ‘Ok, we’ll give two weeks so that we can negotiate an evidence-based, cost-effective, value-respecting way to protect the American people with border security,’ ” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), according to The New York Times. “That doesn’t seem like a big ask.”
In a tweet on Thursday, Trump fired back at Pelosi’s comment regarding her lack of understanding for the necessity of a border wall.
Nancy just said she “just doesn’t understand why?” Very simply, without a Wall it all doesn’t work. Our Country has a chance to greatly reduce Crime, Human Trafficking, Gangs and Drugs. Should have been done for decades. We will not Cave!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 24, 2019