Border talks at impasse as shutdown looms

President Trump’s health is a topic of conversation lately as his annual physical is coming up. More

Mulvaney spoke as Congressional negotiators continue talks on a security plan that includes some sort of barrier on the border, hoping to complete a deal to avert another government shutdown. But this battle more than most is driven by political symbolism - whether Trump will be able to claim he delivered on his long-running pledge to "build the wall" or newly empowered congressional Democrats' ability to thwart him. But negotiators on both sides told reporters late last week that they believed they were on the path to resolving the issues.

News site Axios initially leaked Trump's schedule last Sunday, showing that the president spends the majority of his day on "Executive Time". Democrats have proposed a 16,500 cap on beds to be used for interior enforcement, with the rest to be used for those captured at the border, according to people familiar with the talks.

"It's all over the map, and I think it's all over the map because of the Democrats", White House Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said on "Meet the Press", regarding the status of talks. Democrats want to cap detention beds as a way to limit aggressive detention activities by ICE. But Mulvaney also said that Trump was willing to explore funding alternatives.

The lawmakers hoped to have an agreement by Monday to allow time for the legislation to pass the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate and get signed by President Donald Trump by Friday, when funding for the Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies expires.

Two senior Republican aides told CNN Sunday morning that negotiations fell apart because the Democratic ask on internal enforcement caps was a non-starter. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., said Sunday on Fox. "I'm not confident we're going to get there".

The White House and many Republicans want to push the amount that would be spent for building physical barriers to $2 billion or higher. Republicans have said violent criminals caught inside the USA shouldn't count toward the cap, and that ICE should have discretion about whom to detain. Trump said on Twitter.

"When we find that person or persons, and it's likely to be a career staffer, you're going learn a lot about how hard it is to fire federal workers", said Mulvaney. "But they also demanded the limit on ICE beds, as a way to force the agency to focus on detaining migrants with criminal records instead of people who have overstayed their visas". 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!"

In addition to Shelby, the Senate Appropriations Committee chairman, other lawmakers and key officials took to the airwaves over the weekend where they underscored the differences that remained.

"We are looking to see if the president is working in the national interest", Schiff said. "And I had absolutely no concerns about his cognitive ability or his, you know, his neurological function", Jackson told reporters at the time.

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