Post-shutdown negotiations look brutal for Trump

Lawmakers in both parties are skeptical about President TrumpDonald John TrumpProtesters tear down statue of Christopher Columbus in Baltimore 'Independence Day' star Bill Pullman urges Americans to wear a 'freedom mask' in July 4 PSA Protesters burn American flag outside White House after Trump's July Fourth address MORE’s chances of securing funding for his wall on the Mexican border after a 35-day partial government shutdown that bruised the White House’s political standing. 

The deal reached last week gives Trump and Congress until Feb. 15 to reach a new deal to prevent another partial shutdown, and the president is demanding new legislation again that would fund his signature campaign issue. 

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Democrats seem unlikely to budget any money for a border wall, and even if they did, lawmakers say such a deal would likely require Trump to include significant immigration reforms, such as giving immigrants known as Dreamers a pathway to citizenship or permanent residency. 

That would be a tough nut to crack in only three weeks, and the concessions could also damage Trump with his base. 

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Breaking down the June jobs report | The biggest threats facing the recovery | What will the next stimulus bill include? Military bases should not be renamed, we must move forward in the spirit of reconciliation Pelosi: Trump 'himself is a hoax' MORE (D-Calif.) set the tone immediately after Trump agreed to reopen the government by declaring Friday that she will not change her stance on opposing money for a border wall, which she had previously called “immoral.”  

“Have I not been clear on a wall? I’ve been very clear on the wall,” she told reporters Friday when asked whether her position had changed at all because of the decision to reopen government agencies. 

Her staunch opposition to funding the wall leaves some lawmakers wondering whether the political dynamic has changed. 

“There’s a chance we’re in the same soup in three weeks,” Sen. Kevin CramerKevin John CramerGOP skeptical of polling on Trump Senate passes sanctions bill targeting China over Hong Kong law Cruz urges Trump to support Israeli annexation MORE (R-N.D.) acknowledged moments after Trump announced he would support funding the government for three weeks to give negotiators space to reach a deal. 

Senate Democratic Whip Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinHillicon Valley: Facebook takes down 'boogaloo' network after pressure | Election security measure pulled from Senate bill | FCC officially designating Huawei, ZTE as threats Overnight Defense: Democrats blast Trump handling of Russian bounty intel | Pentagon leaders set for House hearing July 9 | Trump moves forward with plan for Germany drawdown Democrats, voting rights groups pressure Senate to approve mail-in voting resources MORE (Ill.), who was named Friday to the Senate-House conference committee that will attempt to find a compromise over the next three weeks, has previously said we would only entertain supporting increased funding for border barriers if Republicans agree to a permanent solution for Dreamers facing deportation.

He rejected a proposal floated by Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamJaime Harrison seeks to convince Democrats he can take down Lindsey Graham Hillicon Valley: Senate panel advances bill targeting online child sexual abuse | Trump administration awards tech group contract to build 'virtual' wall | Advocacy groups urge Congress to ban facial recognition technologies Senate panel advances bill targeting online child sexual abuse MORE (R-S.C.) to give Dreamers — undocumented immigrants who came to the country at a young age — only three years of protection from deportation in exchange for border wall funding. 

Centrist Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinTrump nominee faces Senate hurdles to securing public lands post OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Watchdog accuses Commerce of holding up 'Sharpiegate' report | Climate change erases millennia of cooling: study | Senate nixes proposal limiting Energy Department's control on nuclear agency budget Senate nixes proposal limiting Energy Department's control on nuclear agency budget MORE (D-W.Va.) on Sunday reiterated that Democrats want a path to citizenship for immigrants previously protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that Trump rescinded in 2017. 

“If the president or his hard right wing would look at that in a little bit more [of] a compassionate way, I think it would break down the problems that we have with barriers,” Manchin said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“Can’t those people deserve 10 years — it’s a long pathway — a 10-year pathway? That would really help an awful lot in moving forward,” he added, referring to a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers. 

But Senate Republican Whip John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneRepublicans fear backlash over Trump's threatened veto on Confederate names McConnell: Trump shouldn't veto defense bill over renaming Confederate bases Senate Republicans defend Trump's response on Russian bounties MORE (S.D.) warns that trying to reach a broader immigration deal will likely take longer than the three weeks before Trump’s next deadline. 

“If you make it a bigger deal, it’s obviously going to take a lot longer to get done,” he said.  

Asked about permanent legal status for Dreamers, Thune said “that’s a longer-term conversation with regard to immigration.” 

Thune said Republicans would be more likely to agree to “a near-term solution on DACA and TPS [temporary protected status]” recipients in exchange for border wall funding. 

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioCongress eyes tighter restrictions on next round of small business help Trump administration eyes new strategy on COVID-19 tests ACLU calls on Congress to approve COVID-19 testing for immigrants MORE (R-Fla.), a member of the Gang of Eight that negotiated comprehensive immigration legislation in 2013, warned Sunday that the broader a new immigration proposal grows, the tougher it will be to pass. 

“The more stuff you put in the bill, the more reasons someone can find to be against it,” he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”  

Under the agreement reached with Trump Friday, congressional leaders will set up a special Senate-House conference committee to negotiate a deal on border security they hope would pave the way for passage of all seven appropriations bills to fund about 25 percent of government. 

Trump warned in the Rose Garden Friday that he could declare a national emergency to build the wall and bypass Congress altogether if lawmakers fail to produce a result by Feb. 15. 

But Republican lawmakers say that would likely get blocked by the courts, limiting the effectiveness of Trump’s leverage. 

“You're at the mercy of a district court somewhere and ultimately an appellate court. So it really may not even withstand if you look at some of the other rulings we've seen,” Rubio said on “Meet the Press.” 

GOP lawmakers are also concerned about setting a new precedent that weakens Congress’s power of the purse. 

Members of the new Senate-House conference committee say that Pelosi along with the other top leaders — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPublic awareness campaigns will protect the public during COVID-19 Democrats: A moment in history, use it wisely 'Comrade' Trump gets 'endorsement' from Putin in new mock ad by Lincoln Project MORE (R-Ky.), Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerPublic awareness campaigns will protect the public during COVID-19 Republicans fear backlash over Trump's threatened veto on Confederate names Overnight Defense: House panel votes to ban Confederate flag on all Pentagon property | DOD report says Russia working to speed US withdrawal from Afghanistan | 'Gang of Eight' to get briefing on bounties Thursday MORE (N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyOn The Money: Breaking down the June jobs report | The biggest threats facing the recovery | What will the next stimulus bill include? McCarthy to offer bill withholding funds from states that don't protect statues McCarthy calls on Pelosi to condemn 'mob violence' after toppling of St. Junipero Serra statue MORE (R-Calif.) — will have a big influence on the discussions. 

“Leadership always plays a role, even if you’re in a noncontroversial conference committee. I think that’s to be expected,” said Sen. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoRepublicans fear backlash over Trump's threatened veto on Confederate names McConnell makes strong call for masks, saying there should be no stigma Ernst sinks vote on Trump EPA nominee MORE (R-W.Va.), whom McConnell appointed to the conference committee Friday. 

Capito said the point of creating a conference committee is to return to “regular order” in an attempt to take some of the political charge off the negotiations. 

The standoff between Trump and Pelosi over the border wall became so acrimonious that it appeared like a personal grudge match at times. When Pelosi tried to pressure Trump to reopen by canceling his invitation to deliver the State of the Union address, he answered by canceling military transportation for her planned congressional delegation trip to Brussels, Egypt and Afghanistan. 

Capito, the chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, negotiated a bill with Sen. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterBipartisan Senate group offers bill to strengthen watchdog law after Trump firings Senate confirms Trump's watchdog for coronavirus funds Montana barrels toward blockbuster Senate fight MORE (Mont.), the top Democrat on the subpanel, that allocated $1.6 billion for border fencing, an increase over what Congress appropriated for fiscal 2018. All but five Democrats on the entire Appropriations Committee voted to approve the measure in June.

In addition to Durbin and Capito, Tester and Sens. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyFights over police reform, COVID-19 delay Senate appropriations markups Trump's push for major infrastructure bill faces GOP opposition Watchdogs express concern to lawmakers about ability to oversee coronavirus relief funds MORE (R-Ala.), John HoevenJohn Henry HoevenBipartisan senators seek funding for pork producers forced to euthanize livestock House Republicans threaten pushback on Saudi Arabia amid oil market slump Overnight Energy: Trump rollback of Obama mileage standards faces court challenges | Court strikes down EPA suspension of Obama greenhouse gas rule | Trump floats cutting domestic oil production MORE (R-N.D.), Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntThe Hill's Morning Report - Republicans shift, urge people to wear masks Hillicon Valley: Facebook takes down 'boogaloo' network after pressure | Election security measure pulled from Senate bill | FCC officially designating Huawei, ZTE as threats Senate GOP starting to draft next coronavirus proposal MORE (R-Mo.) and Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) have been named as the Senate representatives to the upcoming conference negotiation. 

McConnell, who named the conferees Friday afternoon, picked four of his most pragmatic colleagues, a sign that he wants to get a deal. 

The GOP leader since November has tried to keep his fellow Republicans realistic about the chances of getting money for a border wall, warning shortly after the election that there would have to be “some kind of bipartisan discussion.”  

There have been some signs of the two parties coming closer together in the past week. 

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) on Wednesday said Democrats could support granting $5.7 billion for border security as long as none of it was used to build a physical wall. 

Instead, he said Democrats would prefer a “smart wall,” referring to the use of drones and other advanced technology along the border and at points of entry. 

Separately, Democrats last week offered $1.5 billion for border security measures on a bill to reopen the government. 

This has fueled some optimism that negotiators may defy the odds and reach a deal on an intractable issue that has eluded compromise during Trump’s two years in office. 

“I’m reasonably optimistic,” Blunt, a member of the conference, said on “Fox News Sunday.” 

“I think everybody’s stepped out into the new world we’re in — Republican Senate, Democratic House, new Speaker, Republican president,” he added. “The initial touching of the gloves was not producing the kind of result that we need to produce here.”

Trump, however, told The Wall Street Journal on Sunday that he is doubtful Congress can come to a deal over border wall funding, adding that another government shutdown is "certainly an option."

Updated at 7:36 a.m.