McConnell accuses Democrats of stonewalling funding talks with wall demands 

McConnell accuses Democrats of stonewalling funding talks with wall demands 
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief agreement | Weekly jobless claims fall below 1 million for first time since March | Trump says no Post Office funding means Democrats 'can't have universal mail-in voting' Overnight Health Care: Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief deal | US records deadliest day of summer | Georgia governor drops lawsuit over Atlanta's mask mandate Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief deal MORE (R-Ky.) knocked Democrats on Thursday, accusing them of holding up government funding talks days ahead of the shutdown deadline. 

McConnell, speaking from the Senate floor, accused Democrats of trying to force another continuing resolution (CR), which would extend fiscal 2019 spending levels.

“The story is the same as it’s been for months. Partisan policy demands, poison pills, exactly the playbook that the Speaker of the House and the Democratic leader had explicitly promised months ago in writing that they would not use to sabotage appropriations,” McConnell said.

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The Senate GOP leader accused Democrats of trying to restrict President TrumpDonald John TrumpUSPS warns Pennsylvania mail-in ballots may not be delivered in time to be counted Michael Cohen book accuses Trump of corruption, fraud Trump requests mail-in ballot for Florida congressional primary MORE’s ability to shift defense money to the border wall. Republicans view such demands as “poison pills,” provisions that are considered non-starters by one party.

“Even in mid-December they are still using those tactics to jeopardize all of our progress. It doesn’t have to end this way,” McConnell said 

McConnell’s comments come as top negotiators are holding a round of crucial closed-door talks Thursday.

The top leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations committees met Thursday to try to narrow their differences on the fiscal 2020 bills.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyDavis: The Hall of Shame for GOP senators who remain silent on Donald Trump Wary GOP eyes Meadows shift from brick-thrower to dealmaker On The Money: Pessimism grows as coronavirus talks go down to the wire | Jobs report poised to light fire under COVID-19 talks | Tax preparers warn unemployment recipients could owe IRS MORE (R-Ala.) said after the meeting that they were making progress but it would be difficult to reach an agreement in principle on Thursday. 

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“We’re talking seriously,” Shelby said.

Asked if he was making process, he added “on some things.”

“It would be hard. It’s very difficult,” Shelby said, asked if it was realistic to get a handshake deal today.

Shelby, House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweyGovernors air frustrations with Trump on unemployment plans It's past time to be rid of the legacy of Jesse Helms Helping our seniors before it's too late MORE (D-N.Y.), House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSusan Collins asks postmaster general to address delays of 'critically needed mail' Trump says he'd sign bill funding USPS but won't seek changes to help mail voting On The Money: Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief agreement | Weekly jobless claims fall below 1 million for first time since March | Trump says no Post Office funding means Democrats 'can't have universal mail-in voting' MORE (D-Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOvernight Health Care: Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief deal | US records deadliest day of summer | Georgia governor drops lawsuit over Atlanta's mask mandate Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief deal Federal agencies seize, dismantle cryptocurrency campaigns of major terrorist organizations MORE are meeting later Thursday.