Trump's wall and the U.S. shutdown: This is where things stand

Adjust Comment Print

President Donald Trump threatened Friday to seal the US-Mexico border "entirely" if Congress does not approve billions of dollars in funding for a wall.

The Latest on partial shutdown of the federal government, now in its second week.

He has spoken of an "invasion" of migrants and complained of "many gang members and some very bad people" among a thousands-strong caravan of immigrants that traveled to the United States in October.

Trump earlier had upped the brinkmanship by threatening anew to close the border with Mexico to press Congress to cave to his demand for money to pay for a wall. The president left the White House on Christmas to travel to Iraq and meet with American troops stationed overseas.

Talks have been at a stalemate for more than a week, after Democrats said the White House offered to accept $2.5 billion for border security.

Mulvaney went on to say that Pelosi is waiting until she locks in the speakership to negotiate.

Conway sought to put the blame on Democrats, calling the president's demand a "modest investment" in border security.

"At the end of the day, there's a deal to be had", he said. "Anything they can do to try to make the president look bad, they will", he said.

There's little indication of any imminent agreement to resolve the standoff as the new Congress is set to convene next week.

Syria says Israeli air raid hit arms depot and wounded three soldiers
Israel said it deployed air defenses against a missile fired from Syria as Damascus attempted to repel the alleged airstrikes. The strike was also connected with differing reports of the presence of at least one Iranian cargo jet at Damascus Airport.

Conway claimed Sunday that "the president has already compromised" by dropping his request for the wall from $25 billion, and she called on Democrats to return to the negotiating table.

Congressional leaders remained out of town, while Trump returned to Washington early Thursday from an unannounced visit to USA troops in Iraq.

Both congressional chambers met briefly on Thursday, but took no steps to end the closure.

Lawmakers will be given 24 hours notice if there is a breakthrough that would require a vote.

"The United States looses [sic] soooo much money on Trade with Mexico under NAFTA, over 75 Billion Dollars a year (not including Drug Money which would be many times that amount), that I would consider closing the Southern Border a 'profit making operation, '" Trump wrote in another tweet.

A spokesman for US Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said on Thursday that Republicans and Democrats were still very far apart in efforts to resolve the shutdown, which started on Saturday.

It appears as if things are a stand still until the New Year and possibly until Democrats take control of the House of Representatives on January 3. Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell said he will not bring a vote to the floor unless the President has endorsed it. "In 2011, it was reported by the Hawaii Reporter that Pelosi had in previous years stayed in a $10,000-a-night suite at the Four Seasons Resort in Kona for her holiday vacation", the report said.

As a result of the partial shutdown, hundreds of thousands of federal employees are either on unpaid leave or continue to work without any indication when they will be paid.

However, lawyers for the girl's father clarified reports attributed to Homeland Security that has said Jakelin had not eaten or had any water for several days while crossing the desert before the border patrol took her into custody. The departments whose funding lapsed represent about a quarter of the $1.24 trillion in government discretionary spending for fiscal year 2019.