Government shutdown: What we know so far
- Author: Zachary Reyes Apr 22, 2017,
Apr 22, 2017, 20:28
For the first time in years, congressional Republicans seem to be largely on the same page in advance of a crucial government spending deadline, wishing to avoid a politically bruising shutdown fight.
The administration is insisting on money for Trump's promised Southern border wall and wants other items rejected by Democrats as part of the proposed spending bill. The president may dream of a giant wall separating the United States and Mexico, but there's little public support for the project, and even less backing for spending billions of our taxpayer dollars on it.
But rather than take the deal, a spokesman for Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) made a response mocking Trump's motto often repeated on the campaign trail that Mexico was to pay for the wall.
The circumstances are "ripe for some type of negotiated agreement that gives the president some of his priorities and Democrats some of their priorities", Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, said at an event in Washington sponsored by the Institute of International Finance. "But there is a combative element to the divided Trump White House that believes otherwise". President Trump is still considering whether to continue payments for the Obamacare subsidies, he said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal last week. Democratic support will be needed to pass the spending measure and Republicans fear taking the blame if the government shuts down on their watch.
The House and Senate have been negotiating for weeks on a bill that would keep the government open past April 28, when most agencies run out of funding. "We are more than happy to talk to the Democrats about some of their priorities but we encourage them to recognize that they are a minority party".
"A shutdown is never a desired end and neither is it a strategy", Mulvaney told the AP on Thursday.
In a conference call with members Thursday evening, Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi expressed confidence heading into next week's negotiations: "We have the leverage and they have the exposure", she told members, according to an aide on the call.
The White House has said previously that all funding and financing options are being considered.
"If they tell us, however, that they recognize that President Trump won an election", then some of his priorities should be funded, Mulvaney said, adding, "Elections have consequences, as folks who win always like to say". "And the president should, I think, at least have the opportunity to fund one of his highest priorities in the first funding bill under his administration", Mr. Mulvaney said. They want to budget to include funds to subsidize cost-sharing payments to insurance companies, which helps low-income citizens afford their healthcare plans.