UPDATE — 1/19, 4:27 p.m. EST: President Trump made a public offer in a an address from the White House Saturday to end the month-long government shutdown by supporting legislation which would extend protections for illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children and asylum-seekers in exchange for $5.7 billion in border wall funding.
While House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the proposal a “non-starter,” congressional Democrats on Friday signaled support for increases in border security funds, plus $524 million in entry-port upgrades, as well as $563 million for 75 additional immigration judges.
Both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House GOP Whip Steve Scalise are publicly backing Trump’s plan.
The contrast between @realDonaldTrump & Democrats could not be clearer today: people can see he’s serious about ending the shutdown & securing our border, while Democrats have yet to make a single legitimate counteroffer throughout the last month the government has been shut down pic.twitter.com/kx8Y4B1zUz
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) January 19, 2019
A House passed package to end the longest government shutdown in American history has been denied by Senate Republicans.
On Tuesday, Maryland Democrats Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin asked for consent to take up a package of bills that would have funded the various federal agencies affected by the shutdown.
From The Hill:
One bill would fund the Department of Homeland Security through Feb. 8, while the other would fund the rest of the impacted departments and agencies through Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year.
However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked both pieces of legislation and said:
“The solution to this is a negotiation between the one person in the country who can sign something into law, the president of the United States, and our Democratic colleagues.”
My Democratic colleagues have an important choice to make. They could stand with common sense, with federal workers and with their own past voting records… or they could continue to complain from the sidelines as the Speaker refuses to negotiate with the White House. pic.twitter.com/7CKu7OlLmJ
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) January 15, 2019
As a result, Congress is expected to cancel next week’s scheduled recess in order to reach an agreement that will end the shutdown. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told reporters:
“If the government is not open, we will not have a recess. We will have votes next week — if government is shutdown, we’ve scheduled votes through Thursday.”
After the refusal, Sen. Cardin sent President Trump a letter urging him to listen to the stories of Americans affected by the shutdown.
But he needs to hear directly from you. To all those impacted, to our federal workers – share your #ShutdownStories here.
Help us put an end to this chaos. pic.twitter.com/KtZL4dY5A6
— Senator Ben Cardin (@SenatorCardin) January 15, 2019
An increasing number of congressional Republicans are also questioning the merits of not renewing approximately 25 percent of the federal government’s annual funding without a compromise.
With the shutdown remaining in effect, 800,000 federal workers will continue to be denied paychecks as states attempt to cover the 380,000 of which are eligible for unemployment benefits.
Safety inspections of domestic food production facilities have also been put on hold due to a lack of Department of Agriculture funds.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated since its original publication.
[CNBC] [Politico] [The Hill] [NBC News] [AP] [Photo courtesy Andrew Harnik/AP via Politico]