Schumer Dismisses Trump Plan To End Shutdown

Clay Curtis
January 21, 2019

Saturday, Trump proposed a deal that includes $5 billion to partially fund a wall on the U.S. -Mexico border and a three-year extension of protections for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program recipients and temporary protected status holders.

Trump's plan would protect from deportation hundreds of thousands of young "Dreamer" immigrants in the US illegally, in exchange for $5.7 billion to build 230 miles of border wall.

The House Majority Whip responded to Trump's address, in a statement that said "until the President releases his hostages - federal workers and the American people - there will be no negotiation".

With hundreds of thousands of federal workers set to face another federal pay period without paychecks, the issue passed to the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has agreed to bring Trump's proposal to the floor this week.

During an Oval Office meeting with Pelosi and Schumer last month, Trump openly accepted responsibility for shutting down the government in order to get his border wall.

It came as the partial government shutdown entered its 30th day and Democrats and Republicans appeared no closer to ending the impasse than when it began.

Even before Trump delivered his speech suggesting the new compromise offer, Pelosi rejected it as being unacceptable and "a compilation of several previously rejected initiatives, each of which is unacceptable and in total, do not represent a good faith effort to restore certainty to people's lives".

Schumer says the protections for immigrants that Trump is offering to temporarily revive are legal shields that Trump took away in the first place.

Democrats dismissed Trump's proposal even before his formal remarks. Mulvaney added that the onus is now on Democrats to accept the president's plan. But Trump, who has yet to acknowledge that offer, laid out his own plan, which officials said had been in the works for days. "With bipartisan cooperation, the Senate can send a bill to the House quickly so that they can take action as well", McConnell was quoted by The Hill as saying.

But Trump went on to note that work on the wall is ongoing with or without Democratic support, and that the wall will become a reality regardless of what both the White House and Congress decide to do about existing legal and illegal immigrants.

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Trump's offer is based, in part, on bipartisan legislation, known as the BRIDGE Act, which would give three years of protections to Dreamers.

Former staunch Trump supporter Ann Coulter, who has increasingly criticized the president over his failure to fulfill his signature campaign promise to build a border wall, slammed his latest proposal.

According to polls cited by mainstream U.S. media such as CNN and MSNBC, most Americans oppose the strategy of closing the government and blame it on the president.

The dispute over Trump's border wall has caused a partial government shutdown now into its fifth week. Administration officials said the protections would apply only to the approximately 700,000 people now enrolled in the Obama-era program shielding them from deportation, and not all those who could be eligible.

The proposal would protect immigrants brought to the USA illegally as children.

If Donald Trump follows through on his threat to stretch the shutdown "for months and even years", it could affect USA economic growth, reports say.

Mr. Trump announced that he would be making the speech on Twitter Friday evening.

"Let's go back and forth on this and see where we can find common ground", House Democratic Whip Jim Clyburn of SC said on "Fox News Sunday". Trump wrote in a murky message to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

But Clyburn said Trump should first agree to open the government to give lawmakers several weeks to negotiate a deal that would include more money for a wall on the southern US border.

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