WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Efforts in the U.S. Congress to resolve an impasse over border security funding intensified on Friday and were expected to continue over the weekend, as a special negotiating panel aimed to come to a deal by Monday, lawmakers and aides said.
Despite optimism among Senate and House of Representatives negotiators, contingency plans also were being made in case the talks falter.
Department - Homeland - Security - Agencies - Shutdown
Rather than push the Department of Homeland Security and several other federal agencies into a second partial shutdown when their funding expires on Feb. 15, the group of 17 lawmakers were preparing a stop-gap appropriations bill to keep them operating beyond that date.
That would allow more time if necessary to haggle over President Donald Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion this year to help construct a U.S.-Mexico border wall.
Representative - Nita - Lowey - Negotiator - Reuters
Democratic Representative Nita Lowey, a lead negotiator, told Reuters in a brief hallway interview that the bipartisan panel was “working together. I’m always optimistic.” But she added, “It will probably take a little longer” than this weekend to reach agreement.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Republican, complained that while Democrats “talk about more money for a barrier,” they also were trying to place restrictions on how that money would be used.
Trump - Border - Wall - Entry - Drugs
Trump says a border wall is needed to block the entry of illegal drugs and undocumented immigrants. Democrats counter that at an overall wall cost of $25 billion or more, high-tech tools, such as drones, scanners and sensors would be more cost-effective and could be deployed immediately.
Republicans and Democrats in the past 24 hours swapped a series of proposals, lawmakers said. The main sticking points still had not been...
Wake Up To Breaking News!