Early Sunday, Congressional talks to avert a 2nd government shutdown over border Wall funding broke down.
Republicans and Democrats have stopped communicating for now.
Talks were suspended over the issue of detention beds, but there are hopes negotiators will come back to the table soon.
Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House Chief of Staff, said Sunday that a shutdown isn’t the most likely option but that he “absolutely cannot” rule it out.
“You cannot take a shutdown off the table, and you cannot take $5.7-B off the table,” he said, referring to the level of funds President Trump demands for a Wall on the U.S.-Mexican border.
President Trump Tweeted late Sunday morning:”I don’t think the Dems on the Border Committee are being allowed by their leaders to make a deal. They are offering very little money for the desperately needed Border Wall & now, out of the blue, want a cap on convicted violent felons to be held in detention!”
“It was a very bad week for the Democrats, with the GREAT economic numbers, The Virginia disaster and the State of the Union address,” he continued. “Now, with the terrible offers being made by them to the Border Committee, I actually believe they want a Shutdown. They want a new subject!”
President Trump indicated in a Tweet Saturday, that if Democrats did not give him all the wall money he’s demanded, he may use executive action to build it.
An agreement acceptable to President Trump would avert a new partial federal shutdown next weekend. He has warned he may trigger a new closure of agencies if he does not get the money, and that is not a paper tiger threat.
President Trump’s supporters have said there are other executive powers he could use to divert money from the budget to wall construction, though it was unclear if they would face challenges in Congress or the courts. One provision of the law lets the Defense Department provide support for counter-drug activities.
Besides the dollar figure, talks were focusing on the type and location of barriers, participants said. Also in play were the number of beds the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency could have for detained migrants and the amount of aid included for natural disaster relief.
Up until Sunday morning, the momentum was toward clinching an agreement that Congress could pass by next Friday. The next day, many government agencies would run out of money and have to close again without a deal.
Rep. Mark Meadows, (R-NC), who leads the House Freedom Caucus, said he spoke Thursday night to President Trump, who he said was in “wait and see” mode.
If there is a bi-partisan deal, there would likely be enough votes to pass it without the most conservative Republicans or the most liberal Democrats