House Democrats have a plan to re-open government

Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer say they won't consider offers that Trump hasn't endorsed, after he unexpectedly rejected a spending bill that passed the Senate unanimously before the December 21 fiscal deadline.

Democrats have more tangible reasons for thinking that: polls which show (a) the public blames the shutdown on Trump more than on congressional Democrats, and (b) Trump's motive for refusing a deal, his border wall, continues to be unpopular. He has remained out of the public eye since returning early last Thursday from a 29-hour trip to visit USA troops in Iraq, instead taking to Twitter to attack Democrats. The president has complained he is the only one in Washington working while lawmakers are gone for the holiday season.

Democrats plan to put the ball back in Trump's court immediately on Thursday by passing a general spending bill which would allow the government to reopen fully, but would not include extra wall construction money, U.S. media reports said. The clock is ticking to January 11 - the first pay period for those workers that will encompass the entire time period of the shutdown.

McConnell, prior to the shutdown, offered Democrats a deal allocating $1.6 billion for border barriers plus $1 billion for a flexible fund.

When visiting prototypes for the wall in March (that included large concrete options) he said "you have to have see-through. you have to know what's on the other side of the wall".

The House Democratic plan includes full funding for the remaining federal departments that weren't funded before the shutdown.

They would then vote separately on the funding for the Department of Homeland Security, which has been the sticking point that produced the shutdown.

Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby said Sunday on CBS's "Face the Nation" that the House votes "would be probably an empty gesture".

As agreement eludes Washington in the waning days of the Republican monopoly on power, it sets up the first big confrontation between Trump and newly empowered Democrats. "Yes, we need to enhance border security". Where are they now?

A senior Democratic aide, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Senate Democrats support the House legislative plan and that Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer has been in constant contact with Pelosi about it.

After canceling a vacation to his private Florida club, Trump spent the weekend at the White House. Under this plan, it would instead get temporary funding to give both sides time to negotiate through February 8.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office could not provide any predictions about how the Senate would proceed on the legislation, but said that the Senate would not deliver anything to the President that he would not sign.

Trump, meanwhile, has not let up the pressure for Congress to send him something to sign.

President Donald Trump threatened on Friday to seal the US-Mexico border "entirely" if Congress does not approve billions of dollars in funding for a wall. "One more yes, but with me in office, I'll get it built, and Fast!". "And what Donald Trump and the Republicans want to do is waste $5 billion in taxpayer money on an ineffective medieval border wall that is a fifth-century solution to a 21st-century problem".

House Republicans will also have a role to play, even though they'll be in the minority.

But even that may be hard without a compromise because the Senate will remain in Republican hands and Trump's signature will be needed to turn any bill into law.

Right now, the political calculus for both sides remains murky.



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