Shayla DiTolla, News Writer • email@example.com
The recent government shutdown last weekend has brought about a debate over who’s at fault, and whether it was productive. After the three-day shutdown, lawmakers passed a “stopgap” spending bill on January 22 to fund the federal government through February 8, according to NPR.
A press release for the United States House Committee on Appropriations explains this bill will fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for six years. Democrats agreed to relent and fund the government on the condition that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will negotiate an immigration deal within the coming weeks, according to the Washington Post.
The Democrats have been working to have Republican support for a bipartisan immigration bill on President Trump’s desk, while Republicans have been looking for legislative changes on the Obama-era immigration policy, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
At this point, it is unclear what the next weeks will bring in terms of an immigration bill, and the discussion has gone haywire since Trump reportedly labeled African countries “shitholes,” during a meeting with lawmakers on February 11, according to the Washington Post.
There are concerns about how far the immigration negotiations will go for the Democrats, as Trump tweeted on Tuesday night that “Cryin’ Chuck Schumer fully understands, especially after his humiliating defeat, that if there is no Wall, there is no DACA,” Trump wrote. “We must have safety and security, together with a strong Military, for our great people!”
Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) settled with an assurance that Senator Mitch McConnell (R-K.Y.) would agree to the chamber holding a vote on the immigration bill in the next few weeks. Schumer has been publicly blamed by the Republicans and even some of his own party for the shutdown, as he has been criticised for failing to negotiate a deal, according to Politico.
Trump is now focusing in on Schumer withdrawing his offer to fund the border wall, as Schumer told Politico on Tuesday, “The thought was that we could come to an agreement that afternoon, the president would announce his support, and the Senate and the House would get it done and it would be on the president’s desk…He didn’t do that. So we’re going to have to start on a new basis, and so the wall offer is off the table.”
Even though, according to NPR, “White House chief of staff John Kelly told a caucus of Hispanic lawmakers that he had convinced Trump the border wall was unnecessary,” Trump tweeted, “The Wall is the Wall, it has never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived of it.”