GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN | Trump’s proposal faces uncertain fate
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s proposal to reopen the government, sweetened with immigration provisions aimed at mollifying Democrats but which have alienated some conservatives, is headed for Senate action, its prospects uncertain.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will try to muscle through the 1,300-page spending measure, which includes $5.7 billion to fund Trump’s proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, the sticking point in the standoff between Trump and Democrats that has led to a partial government shutdown now in its 32nd day.
Meanwhile, another missed paycheck looms for hundreds of thousands of federal workers.
Senate Republicans late Monday unveiled the legislation, dubbed the “End The Shutdown And Secure The Border Act,” but its passage this week is by no means certain.
Republicans hold a 53-47 majority in the chamber but need Democrats to reach the usual 60-vote threshold for bills to advance. No Democrat has publicly expressed support for the proposal Trump announced over the weekend.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer’s office reiterated that Democrats are unwilling to negotiate any border security funding until Trump reopens the government.
“Nothing has changed with the latest Republican offer,” Schumer spokesman Justin Goodman said. “President Trump and Senate Republicans are still saying: ‘Support my plan or the government stays shut.’ That isn’t a compromise or a negotiation — it’s simply more hostage taking.”
The Republican plan is a trade-off: Trump’s border wall funding in exchange for temporary protection from deportation for some immigrants. To try to draw more bipartisan support, it adds $12.7 billion in supplemental funding for regions hit by hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disasters.
In exchange for $5.7 billion for Trump’s wall, the legislation would extend temporary protections against deportation to around 700,000 immigrants covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. Trump has tried dismantling the Obama-era program, which covers people who arrived in the U.S. illegally as children, but has been blocked so far by federal lawsuits.
That figure is substantially lower than the 1.8 million people Trump proposed protecting a year ago in a plan that also included other immigration changes and $25 billion to pay the full costs of building his wall. Trump’s proposal was among several the Senate rejected last February.
The new Senate bill would also provide three more years of temporary protections against deportation to around 325,000 immigrants in the U.S. who have fled countries racked by natural disasters or violent conflicts. Trump has ended that program, called Temporary Protected Status, for El Salvador, has which the most holders of the protected status, as well as for Honduras, Nicaragua and several other countries.
Democrats said Trump’s proposal for a three-year DACA extension didn’t go far enough and that he was simply offering to restore elements of immigration provisions he’d taken away.
Some on the right, including conservative commentator Ann Coulter, accused Trump of offering “amnesty.”