McConnell knocks Dems for rejecting Trump’s ‘reasonable request’ on border

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) knocked Democrats on Saturday, the first day of the partial government shutdown, saying they shot down a deal on border funding because of pressure from their progressive base.
McConnell, opening up the Senate shortly after noon, said Democrats rejected a “reasonable request” by refusing the House-passed bill that included $5.7 billion for the border after offering $25 billion earlier this year as part of a larger immigration deal.
“They brought this about because they’re under a lot of pressure — we all know this — from their far left and feel compelled to disagree with the president on almost anything, and certainly this,” McConnell said.{mosads}
He argued that Democrats weren’t opposed to the House bill “because of some principled objection” or a “principled discovery.”
McConnell’s comments come after Congress missed its midnight deadline to prevent a partial shutdown that is impacting roughly 25 percent of the federal government.
Both sides have been in a stalemate over funding for Trump’s proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
House Republicans passed a seven-week bill that provided a boost in border funding, while the Senate passed a stopgap bill on Wednesday that included no extra money.
Both sides are currently negotiating on a path forward, including on a potential deal that would fund the seven remaining appropriations bills through Sept. 30, the end of the 2019 fiscal year. Without a larger deal, Congress would need to pass a short-term stopgap measure.
A Senate Democratic aide said on Saturday morning that “talks continue at a staff level” but would need signoff from congressional leadership and Trump “before it is to get a vote.”
“Dems continue to push real border security options that works, not the president’s concrete wall. Schumer has insisted to [Vice President] Pence and to Republicans that the president must sign off on this before a vote,” the aide said.
Senate Republicans predicted on Friday that the most likely outcome of the shutdown fight would be border funding at the level initially in the Senate-passed bill — $1.6 billion.
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, declined to specify what his offer to Schumer was but told reporters on Friday night that discussions were ongoing and they had made “overtures.”
Tags Mitch McConnell Richard Shelby
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