Thursday, 18 April, 2019

US Congress meets briefly, takes no steps to end shutdown

US President Donald Trump,US-Mexico border,Mexico wall Senate adjourns until next week; no border deal
Leonard Rios | 28 December, 2018, 08:25

With no immediate end to the shutdown in sight, Trump made his remarks during a surprise visit to Iraq and blamed the shutdown on Democrat Nancy Pelosi, who was expected to become speaker of the US House of Representatives on January 3.

"The president and his team stayed in Washington over Christmas hoping to negotiate a deal that would stop the risky crisis on the border, protect American communities, and reopen the government".

The sticking point is over funding for border security.

Trump's $5 billion demand for the border wall was previously included in a House-passed bill, but that piece of legislation didn't make it through the Senate by the deadline on December 21, according to the Washington Examiner, which noted that rejected spending bills have only offered up between $1.3 billion and $1.6 billion for border security. Proponents say it will keep illegal immigrants out of the U.S.

Tweeting earlier in the day, Trump asserted that "Border Patrol Agents want the wall" and touted a "Need to stop Drugs, Human Trafficking, Gang Members & Criminals from coming into our country".

Just a few years ago, Trump pointed out, Democrats strongly supported a law that would have fortified the border with a fence. In Iraq, Trump said, "We're going to have a wall". The American public has always been inclined to blame presidents for any governmental dysfunction that transpires on their watch (this insight was the cornerstone of Mitch McConnell's rationale for adopting a posture of unwavering obstruction during the Obama presidency).

Pakistani foreign minister hails talks between US, Taliban
President Donald) Trump would bring home the troops abruptly", said Graeme Smith, a consultant for the International Crisis Group. Pakistan has welcomed U.S. president Donald Trump's plan to reduce the number of United States troops in Syria .

LeBron James of Los Angeles Lakers says National Football League owners have slave mentality
LeBron James took National Football League owners to task in the latest episode of " The Shop " via The Washington Post . Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said in October that the team was unlikely to budge on a trade involving Davis.

US To Pull Out 7000 Troops From Afghanistan
In recent months, however, there has been a renewed effort to make progress on peace talks with the Taliban. The announcement came just one day after President Trump announced a military withdrawal from Syria .

"First of all, the fact ... that he says, "We're going to build a wall with cement, and Mexico's going to pay for it" while he's already backed off of the cement - now he's down to, I think, a beaded curtain or something, I'm not sure where he is", Pelosi said. But it's a small number. While furloughed federal workers have been given back pay in previous shutdowns, it's not guaranteed. First, Congress has to have something both chambers can pass, and that Trump will sign. I really believe that.

Bill Schneider, a professor of policy, government and worldwide affairs at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., said he doesn't believe either political party will come through this showdown looking like a victor. Essential services including Social Security, Medicare and the military continue to be funded, he said. As we've learned over time, much like Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, the president is convinced that all Mexicans are "bad hombres".

"Whenever a president allows the government not to function, it means he's isn't doing his job", he said. "It isn't a crisis but maybe the lingering effect of this for the next two years will be the president didn't do his job". Clinton is widely viewed as having won the political battle and was re-elected in 1996.

And yet, somehow, the government has been (partially) shuttered for six days now - and the Democrats have yet to surrender. Republicans suffered in public opinion polls.

Top Republicans also were not around this week, as well as White House adviser Jared Kushner, who was at the center of negotiations just before Christmas.

White House Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told Fox News on Sunday that the White House has given a "counter-offer" that was "between those two numbers". "The only one that doesn't want the wall are the Democrats". "If enough Dems don't vote, it will be a Democrat Shutdown!".

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