The United States may face another partial government shutdown as talks between the Democrats and the Republicans in the Congress stalls ahead of Friday deadline.
On January 25, a record-breaking partial government shutdown that lasted 35 days was called off when President Trump approved a three-week window of discussions in the hope of reaching a breakthrough regarding the US-Mexico border wall funding. This three-week window ends on Friday, February 15.
Since the discussion window opened, several talks have been held, but no agreement has been reached. A conversation held on Friday, February 8 also ended without agreement which has led to concerns among stakeholders that another shutdown might be on the horizon as time runs out. To avoid another shutdown, an agreement must be reached latest on Monday for Congress to have sufficient time to pass the legislation by Friday.
Democrats are looking to limit the number of beds in the detention center hence want migrants with criminal records to be the focus of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) rather than people who overstay the visa. They hope to set the bar at 16,500 beds which were the approximate number of people in the centers in the last years of Obama’s administration.
Also, border wall funding negotiation is between $1.2bn and $2bn which is significantly lower than the president’s demand of $5.7bn.
Senator Richard Shelby, the lead Republican negotiator, is not confident the president’s funding demand will be met, he revealed when giving a situation report. He, however, said a 50-50 deal is possible but emphasized shutdown remains a possibility. On the other hand, Jon Tester – a Democrat negotiator is hopeful of a deal before the deadline stating that negotiations are often like this – with rough patches.
In the event of another shutdown, a repeat of about 800,000 federal employees going unpaid will be seeing.
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