Republicans and Democrats have suspended talks on border wall despite the threat of another partial shutdown.
After the last government shutdown which lasted for 35 days, President Trump made it clear that he would initiate another shutdown if Congress did not agree on how much to approve for his border wall project. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, however, suggested that Democrats were not intimidated by Trump’s threat, calling the proposed border wall immoral.
Since Mr. Trump gave the Congress until Friday this week to reach an agreement, negotiators were hoping for a deal by Monday. “I am not confident that we will be able to reach an agreement before the deadline,” Republican negotiator Senator Richard Shelby said on Sunday. “I will say we have a 50-50 chance of getting a deal.”
However, Jon Tester, one of the Democratic negotiators told Fox News that he is hopeful that they would reach a deal before the deadline to avoid another shutdown. “It is a negotiation and negotiations are not always easy and smooth.”
The US President had demanded $5.7bn to execute the project, but negotiators are currently looking approving between $1.3bn and $2bn considering the low level of support the president is getting from Democrats.
The president took to Twitter on Sunday to say that Democrats want another shutdown. He opined that they were stalling because they wanted to draw the public’s attention away from issues like Gov. Ralph Northam’s resignation.
“They want a new subject,” he wrote.
Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s acting chief of staff told NBC, on Sunday, that although they hope that the Congress comes to an agreement soon, another shutdown cannot be ruled out. He said that the president is willing to take whatever the Congress approves for the border wall project and he would look for the remaining somewhere else. “The wall will be built whether or not the Congress supports Trump,” he added.
If Trump acts on his threat of a shutdown, many federal agencies will close down due to lack of funding and about 800,000 federal employees will not be paid.