Over a week after parts of the government shut down over funding for the proposed border wall, a resolution is nowhere in sight with both President Donald Trump and Democratic lawmakers unwilling to compromise.
According to sources with knowledge of the negotiations, President Trump has reportedly privately told officials and lawmakers he won’t sign a bill that comes to his desk with only $1.3 billion allotted for border security. Democrats, who are to take control of the House of Representatives in just a matter of days, also don’t show signs of budging.
Senator Lindsey Graham, who had lunch with Trump, said the President had not yet committed to a resolution, expressing hope, however, that a compromise could be reached in the coming days.
“(The) President didn’t commit but I think he’s very open-minded,” the South Carolina legislator said after their lunch, adding that Trump called “interesting” the idea that $5 billion is provided for border security in exchange for legislative changes to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA).
It’s unclear if Democrats have any interest in Graham’s proposal, and none voiced support for it publicly on Sunday.
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, responding to a question by CNN’s Dana Bash, said on Sunday that the President might sign or veto a bill that Democrats pass depending “on what’s in it,” adding also that Trump was “ready to negotiate.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he will not bring a vote to the floor unless the President has endorsed it.
“We pushed the pause button until the President, from whom we will need a signature, and Senate Democrats, from whom we will need votes, reach an agreement,” he said the day the government was scheduled to partially close.
Meanwhile, outgoing chief of staff John Kelly said in an interview that the border wall demanded by President Trump is not actually a wall, but rather fencing. During his lunch with Trump, Graham suggested including funding for the fencing/border security “in areas that make sense — and deal with another problem that’s looming.”