This week, shutdown polls showed the American public blame President Trump for the government shutdown. To divert Americans’ attention elsewhere, President Trump tried to make a deal with Democrats on Saturday. Among other elements, the deal consists of three years’ legislative relief to DACA recipients and a three-year extension of temporary protected status for 300,000 immigrants whose protected status is about to expire. In exchange for these provisions, $5.7 billion border wall funding will finally be paid for. The so-called deal is a non-starter because it contains the wall House Speaker Pelosi refuses to compromise on. Moreover, Democrats seek to reopen government before beginning negotiations on border security. Democrats are presenting a united front and refusing to budge on the wall together, at least until the government is opened.
To Pelosi, the wall is an expensive and unnecessary item border security can do perfectly fine without. To President Trump, the wall is an integral part of his campaign promise and essential to seal off the border, stopping illegal crooks and helping border security officials do their jobs.
Support for the wall is clearly divided along partisan lines. Many Republican lawmakers, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, supported President Trump’s latest proposal. McConnell said he will floor Trump’s proposal in the Senate next week. Sen. Mitt Romney is also in favor of the proposal. House Republicans too considered Trump’s deal to be bipartisan, fair, and reasonable.
Speaker Pelosi said any one item in the deal was not likely to pass the House, let alone the compilation of all items. Moreover, Trump’s proposal does not offer a permanent solution to Dreamers and TPS recipients. Dreamers and TPS recipients had their protections initially removed by President Trump. President Trump’s deal with the Democrats can hardly be called a deal at all considering the Democrats were not consulted before Trump’s announcement and none of their policy demands were met. His proposal is a consolidation of items Democrats previously voted for and band-aid solutions to Democratic immigration priorities.
Other Democrats such as Sen. Tim Kaine and Mark Werner, both of whom represent Virginia where many federal workers reside, were displeased President Trump did not address the sufferings of federal workers going without pay. Without their paychecks, federal workers, who tend to be paid less overall, can barely make ends meet with mortgage and child care payments. There is increasing dependence on food banks. The government shutdown enters its 29th day.
Featured image via Flickr/The White House