Shutdown now longest in history as Congress skips town – POLITICO


A protest close to the Federal constructing, headquarters for the EPA and IRS in Boston | Joseph Prezioso/AFP by way of Getty Pictures

The partial authorities shutdown on Saturday grew to become the longest in U.S. historical past, an ominous milestone in an deadlock between President Donald Trump and Congress that’s left lots of of 1000’s of federal staff with no paycheck and no finish in sight to the disaster.

Congress left city Friday with seemingly no method out of an immigration battle that has fiercely divided Trump and Democrats since his inauguration, with scores of lawmakers complaining in regards to the staggering dysfunction that has outlined the start of the 116th Congress and stored 1 / 4 of the federal government closed for 22 days and counting.

For weeks, the president and lawmakers have didn’t discover a method to reopen the federal government, with Democrats unwilling to present Trump extra money for a border wall. And with talks stalled, there isn’t a answer on the horizon whilst Trump weighs whether or not to declare a nationwide emergency to construct his wall.

Trump mentioned on Friday he would chorus from taking unilateral motion on border safety — simply someday after he mentioned he would “most likely” accomplish that inside days — amid mounting pushback from his personal GOP allies on Capitol Hill.

“We wish Congress to do its job,” Trump instructed reporters. “What we’re not seeking to do proper now’s nationwide emergency.”

Congressional Republicans are more and more skeptical of Trump’s plans for an govt order.

The White Home is rethinking its technique simply someday earlier than the federal authorities will enter its longest-ever stretch with out funding. The sense of urgency for a deal is mounting, as 800,000 federal staff missed their first paycheck on Friday.

Strain was additionally coming from congressional Republicans, who’re more and more skeptical of Trump’s plans for an govt order. Many have balked on the technique as potential overreach — not in contrast to the GOP’s rhetoric in opposition to former President Obama’s unilateral immigration strikes. They’ve additionally objected to the funding technique Trump would use to pay for the wall after declaring an emergency.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) mentioned Friday that he would oppose reusing catastrophe funds for the wall, referencing the Trump administration’s potential plan to make use of catastrophe aid cash. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Trump ally, additionally raised issues about utilizing such cash.

By Friday afternoon, Trump mentioned that he’s “not going to do it so quick.”

US President Donald Trump stands with Border Patrol brokers on the Rio Grande | Jim Watson/AFP by way of Getty Pictures

The White Home’s pivot away from an emergency order muddies the trail ahead for reopening the federal government, with each Democrats and Trump unbending of their stance on the border wall.

Some lawmakers in each events believed that Trump’s authorized transfer could possibly be an escape hatch from the intractable funding combat, with Trump agreeing to reopen the federal government as he seeks cash elsewhere.

Heading into the fourth weekend of a funding deadlock, no bipartisan talks are scheduled, and Trump seems to have pulled himself out of negotiations which can be poised to go nowhere with out his direct participation.

“When the president acts, we’ll reply to no matter he does,” Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi mentioned in response to Trump’s feedback Friday afternoon. “A brand new thought is perhaps for Republicans to face as much as the president and say it’s unsuitable to close down authorities,” she added later when requested by a reporter if Democrats had any new concepts to finish the weekslong stalemate.

Pelosi and Senate Minority Chief Chuck Schumer have held a collection of more and more unproductive conferences with Trump thus far this yr, and nobody else is speaking to one another. The Senate and Home will not return till Monday, basically guaranteeing the shutdown will eclipse the earlier longest funding lapse of 21 days. Monday would be the 24th day of a partial shutdown.

Although each Trump and congressional Democrats appear snug with their political place because the shutdown lingers, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) mentioned Friday that “no one is profitable.”

Republicans are divided over whether or not to restrain the president: Some imagine it could claw away energy from Congress, however others assume it is going to be a chic method out of the shutdown.

“I’ve bought lots of people which can be saying, Lisa, you bought to face with the president, you bought to be sturdy on this,” she mentioned. “Then I’ve an equal quantity which can be saying, please, please, do one thing to assist reopen this authorities.”

However that is proved unimaginable. The same old gamers in bipartisan talks, like Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) are sidelined. Senate Majority Chief Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is deferring to Schumer. There is not any bipartisan gang coming to avoid wasting the shuttered federal departments.

“What good is it if the president isn’t on board? And we have realized previously that’s an iffy proposition,” mentioned Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), whose personal immigration compromise was killed by Trump final yr. “If it persists, I believe they’re going to have to contemplate [a veto override] an increasing number of. It’s ridiculous.”

However GOP senators and aides say a veto override is not practical both. And plenty of had been pinning their hopes that Trump would act unilaterally to at the very least get issues transferring once more.

An indication within the window of the White Home Guests Middle | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Pictures

Trump’s govt motion would have set off a scramble of authorized motion by Home Democrats. Republicans are divided over whether or not to restrain the president: Some imagine it could claw away energy from Congress, however others assume it is going to be a chic method out of the shutdown.

“Mr. President, declare a nationwide emergency now. Construct a wall now,” Graham mentioned after assembly with Trump Friday.

However different Republicans cautioned the president in opposition to taking such a drastic transfer, and the divisions amongst his allies could possibly be hamstringing his determination to maneuver shortly.

“Even when the president’s bought authority to do it, I would advise in opposition to it. And I might assume that every facet must be laying one thing on the desk and negotiating,” mentioned Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), essentially the most senior GOP senator.

He declined to say if he would vote to dam the president from doing so and mentioned it is doubtless a negotiating tactic: “The president sees it extra as a lever to get issues on the desk and get negotiations going.”

Folks in each events had appeared hopeful that the emergency declaration would at the very least restart the federal government, even when it is legally doubtful.

The stakes for the shutdown are ratcheting up, as roughly one-quarter of the federal authorities inches nearer to finish shutdown mode.

“Declaring it an emergency, I suppose, serves a political perform for him however then it relocates the entire controversy into the courts,” mentioned Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), a member of the Home Judiciary Committee. “If that’s what it takes to reopen the federal government, most of us will most likely abdomen our misgivings about it and hope that the rule of regulation will prevail.”

Some GOP lawmakers brazenly fear about potential accusations of hypocrisy after Republicans denounced Obama’s earlier use of govt actions. Rep. Rob Woodall (R-Ga.) mentioned he’d “be going nuts” if President Obama had mentioned the tactic.

If Trump declares a nationwide emergency, some Home conservatives are warning that it does not assure that the president will signal laws to reopen the federal government.

Two leaders of the Home Freedom Caucus, Reps. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), each signaled Friday that they would not vote to reopen the federal government until Congress can safe its personal wall funding cash.

“We have to deal with a legislative appropriation for the border safety wall, similar to we mentioned. That’s the most effective method,” Jordan mentioned.

The stakes for the shutdown are ratcheting up, as roughly one-quarter of the federal authorities inches nearer to finish shutdown mode. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) was one of many few senators on the town on Friday, and he spent the morning telling tales about affected constituents.

A bit of the bolstered U.S.-Mexico border fence on the Otay Mesa space, San Diego County | Guillermo Arias/AFP by way of Getty Pictures

He known as on the federal government to reopen after which “interact with the president in a significant, short-term, immediate dialogue about border safety and immigration reform.”

Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), who sits on the Home spending panel, mentioned he’s so pissed off that he is begun speaking with Home Democratic leaders about different methods out of the shutdown. Considered one of his concepts is to carry up a slate of pre-negotiated funding payments that would reopen items of the federal government, even with no broad immigration deal.

McConnell has mentioned these payments will not go anyplace until the president endorses them. And Trump killed his get together’s personal try to reopen the federal government after which kickstart negotiations on the wall and immigration reform. GOP Sens. Rob Portman of Ohio and Jerry Moran of Kansas launched a invoice that has $25 billion in border safety in alternate for short-term protections for Dreamers on Friday, which they hoped may assist restart talks however is miles away from something Democrats would help.

The Home voted Friday on its fourth piecemeal funding invoice of the week to reopen slices of the federal authorities, which have all regularly picked off extra GOP defections. Ten Republicans voted with Democrats. The Senate held no votes Friday, and there was no signal of any of the highest leaders of their Capitol suites.

Melanie Zanona contributed reporting to this story.


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