Posts Tagged ‘Nancy Pelosi’

Trump slams Pelosi over comment about ‘immoral’ wall

January 22, 2019

With the Senate and House poised to vote on dueling bills to reopen the government this week, President Trump on Monday put the squeeze on Nancy Pelosi over her rejection of his latest proposal.

“Nancy Pelosi thinks that Walls are ‘immoral,’ why isn’t she requesting that we take down all of the existing Walls between the US and Mexico, even the new ones just built in San Diego at their very strong urging. Let millions of unchecked ‘strangers’ just flow into the US,” Trump tweeted about the House speaker.

The California Democrat has remained steadfast in her opposition to giving the president the $5.7 billion he has demanded, and Trump has been equally insistent that he won’t sign bills that would reopen the government until he gets his way.

Thirty-one days into the partial government shutdown, Democrats and Republicans appeared no closer to ending the impasse than when it began, with Trump lashing out at his opponents after they dismissed a plan he’d billed as a compromise.

Trump on Sunday branded Pelosi a “radical,” and said she was acting “irrationally.”

The president also tried to fend off criticism from the right, as conservative pundit Ann Coulter and others on the right accused him of embracing “amnesty” for immigrants in the country illegally.

Trump offered on Saturday to temporarily extend protections for young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children and those fleeing disaster zones in exchange for $5.7 billion for his border wall.

But Democrats said the three-year proposal didn’t go nearly far enough to protect the so-called Dreamers.

With hundreds of thousands of federal workers set to face another payless payday this week, the issue passed to the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has agreed to bring Trump’s proposal to the floor this week.

Democrats say there’s little chance the measure will reach the 60-vote threshold usually required to advance legislation in the Senate.

Republicans have a 53-47 majority, which means they need at least some Democrats to vote in favor.

What’s unclear is how McConnell will bring Trump’s plan forward — or when voting will begin.

Democrats continue to say that they will not negotiate with Trump until he ends the shutdown, the longest in American history, and the Democratic-controlled House planned to advance legislation this week that would reopen the government.


The Shutdown Shows the Weakness of the Resistance — No European-Style Yellow Vests

January 21, 2019

The grass-roots progressive activism of the past two years has been inspiring. But it’s still a shadow of what the country needs.

By  David Leonhardt
The New York Times

The grass-roots progressive movement known as the resistance has had a very good two years. It beat back attempts to take health insurance away from millions of Americans, and it helped defeat a Republican House majority that was enabling President Trump. Neither of those outcomes looked likely when he took office.

But the government shutdown has shown the limits of this new progressive movement. The resistance has had virtually no effect on the politics of the shutdown — and a stronger movement could have a big effect.

When I’ve spoken to people from other countries over the past couple of weeks, they have been shocked that Americans have not begun protesting the shutdown in large numbers. About 800,000 federal workers have now gone almost a month without getting paid. Some are struggling to pay their rent or buy medications. Some have gone to pawn shops to get cash. Major functions of government — airline security, food safety, mortgage processing, farm assistance and so on — have been impaired.

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If this were happening in Europe, as Luigi Zingales of the University of Chicago told me, people would be pouring into the streets. And yet in the United States, there has been nothing but a few smallscattered rallies.

Instead of lining up to protest, hundreds of federal workers in Washington lined up last week to eat at makeshift soup kitchens. The photos of them doing so were a study in powerlessness.

It’s not hard to envision a different scenario. Trump was already an unpopular president before Fox News hosts goaded him in December into rejecting a bipartisan Senate deal to keep the government open. Polls show that most voters correctly blame him for the shutdown. Congressional Democrats are largely united. Republicans are less so, with some publicly signaling their discomfort. They and Trump are the politically vulnerable players in the shutdown.

Imagine if there were a progressive movement strong enough to pressure Trump by highlighting the damage he is doing. What could that look like? Among other things, it could look like a nationwide one-day strike by federal workers.

With even a minority of them participating, it would create huge logistical problems at airports and elsewhere. Americans who support the workers could join them on the picket lines. The day after the strike, the federal workers could return to their jobs, as a sign of their commitment. The threat of future strikes would be clear. The human effects of the shutdown would no longer be so easy for the country to ignore.

Yes, strikes by federal workers are illegal. But requiring people to work without pay may also be illegal, legal scholars have pointed out. Either way, protest movements often use illegal tactics. It’s called civil disobedience, and it can succeed when the cause is sympathetic. Federal workers forced to visit pawn shops because of a petulant, wealthy president are pretty sympathetic.

The modern labor movement was launched in part by the illegal sit-down strikes of 1936-37, when workers in Flint, Mich., and other cities occupied factories to keep them from operating. The civil-rights movement frequently used illegal tactics. Last year, teachers in Arizona, Kentucky, Oklahoma and West Virginia risked breaking the law by walking off their jobs — and nonetheless won concessions. “One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws,” wrote a certain reverend whose 90th birthday the country is celebrating on Monday. “Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”

The celebrations of Martin Luther King Jr. will include a lot of pap about peace and equality. But King didn’t think that peace and equality just happened. He thought people had to struggle for them. He understood that most great societal advances in America’s history — independence from Britain, the abolition of slavery, women’s suffrage, decent pay for workers — depended on mass political movements.

The government shutdown, of course, is a minor issue compared to those to advances. But it is also a clear sign that the country lacks the sort of popular movement necessary to make progress against today’s great challenges: a fraying democracy and dysfunctional government; a stagnation of living standards for much of the population; a violently warming planet.

The Trump resistance has been the most hopeful sign of activism in decades. Thousands and thousands of people, mostly women, have been inspired to march, organize, dive into local politics and get out the vote. They have already proven that their activism can make a difference. A lot of Americans owe their health insurance today to this new movement.

But relative to the scale of the country’s problems — and the strength of past political movements — the new movement remains too small and too weak. Figuring out how to build it up is a vastly more important question for progressives than, say, figuring out who the ideal 2020 Democratic nominee will be. Get the movement right, and the politicians will follow.

In the meantime, the shutdown reaches its one-month mark by the end of Monday, the same day the country is supposed to be honoring grass-roots activism.

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David Leonhardt is a former Washington bureau chief for the Times, and was the founding editor of The Upshot and head of The 2020 Project, on the future of the Times newsroom. He won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, for columns on the financial crisis. @DLeonhardt  Facebook

A version of this article appears in print on , on Page A19 of the New York edition with the headline: Where Have You Gone, Resistance?
Image result for yellow vest, france, pictures
See also:

The Yellow Vests Are Going to Change France. We Just Don’t Know How.

A protester stands in front of riot police at the Arc de Triomphe on January 12.

A protester stands in front of riot police at the Arc de Triomphe on January 12.  LE PICTORIUM / BARCROFT IMAGES / BARCROFT MEDIA VIA GETTY

Trump Moves Closer to Compromise, Further From Base

January 21, 2019

By unveiling a deal to end the government shutdown standoff, at its heart an exchange of border wall funding for extended protections for illegal immigrants and foreign nationals, President Trump took one step forward on compromise and two steps back on satisfying his base.

US President Donald Trump at a press conference in the White House (REUTERS)

The deal Trump pitched Saturday afternoon included extensions for recipients of the Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, programs in return for $5.7 billion for additional barriers at the southern border.

While House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., beat Trump to the punch, calling the plan a “nonstarter” for the Democrat-controlled lower chamber, Trump’s strongest allies who have long championed his hard-line immigration policies felt betrayed.

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Conservative author and pundit Ann Coulter tweeted, “Trump proposes amnesty. We voted for Trump and got Jeb!” The Drudge Report, a popular conservative aggregation website, trumpeted a banner that read, “Trump dangles amnesty.”

“A Big Beautiful Concrete Border Wall will be a monument to the Rule of Law, the sovereignty of the USA, & @RealDonaldTrump,” tweeted Rep. Steve King , R-Iowa. “If DACA Amnesty is traded for $5.7 billion(1/5 of a wall), wouldn’t be enough illegals left in America to trade for the remaining 4/5. NO AMNESTY 4 a wall!”

In a series of tweets Sunday morning, Trump pleaded his case to the Right while also warning Democrats not to laugh off his offer. “No, Amnesty is not a part of my offer,” he said Sunday morning. “It is a 3 year extension of DACA. Amnesty will be used only on a much bigger deal, whether on immigration or something else. Likewise there will be no big push to remove the 11,000,000 plus people who are here illegally-but be careful Nancy!”

Throughout the day, Trump also furiously retweeted a slew of GOP lawmakers, actor James Woods, and influential conservative radio host Mark Levin, all of whom praised his efforts to end the shutdown, which enters its 31st day on Monday and is affecting important policy portfolios at the departments of Homeland Security, Justice, State, and Treasury.

Trump’s offensive will begin in the Senate, where Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced he will take up legislation next week incorporating the deal Trump outlined. The measure requires 60 votes to advance, which means Republicans will need the support of seven Democrats to pass the measure, assuming no GOP lawmakers vote against it. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has already said he will rally his party to oppose the plan.

But there is some hope for Trump.

At least one Senate Democrat seems to be taking Trump’s offer on immigration reform as a sign an end to the partial government shutdown may be near. West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a moderate Democrat who won re-election last November in a state Trump carried by 42 points in 2016, hasn’t said he will support the GOP-led push. But he did say Saturday evening that he’s looking forward to working with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to “end this shameful shutdown.” “I’m hopeful the President’s statement tonight will allow us to immediately reopen gov, put WVians back to work & start negotiating long-term immigration reform,” Manchin said in a tweet.

Related image

Joe Manchin

The spending package, which could be scheduled for a vote as early as Tuesday, would reopen the parts of the federal government closed by the ongoing shutdown until Oct. 1 and allocate $12 billion for disaster aid, about $4 billion more than that proposed last year by House Republicans, a congressional aide confirmed to the Washington Examiner.

The measure — based on seven appropriations bills already considered by a bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers — will allow $5.7 billion to be spent on Trump’s southern border impediments and implement the series of immigration concessions suggested by the president.

Aides hope the disaster relief funding will be an added sweetener to entice enough Democrats to help push it through. However, the vote could be delayed until Thursday if McConnell fails to convince Democrats to let him substitute the text of a House-passed measure with his proposal.

If Trump’s shutdown gambit plays out successfully in the Senate, the larger question remains: Will Pelosi and rank-and-file Democrats feel the pressure and play ball?

Pelosi said Trump’s plan was “a compilation of several previously rejected initiatives, each of which is unacceptable and in total, do not represent a good faith effort to restore certainty to people’s lives.” She particularly lamented how the proposal does not achieve what Democrats have long sought for the “Dreamers,” which is a pathway to citizenship or permanent legal status.

Trump tweeted Sunday that Pelosi is being unreasonable because she is “petrified” of her allies on the Left. Meanwhile, the Washington Post reported House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has told Trump that he thinks Pelosi relishes the opportunity to embarrass him.

Democrats have said they won’t deal on border security until spending bills are passed, as 800,000 federal workers are furloughed or working without pay. If they hold the line, Trump may be the one to fold under the weight of public opinion.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., center, speaks to reporters as she leaves an event with furloughed federal workers amid the partial government shutdown, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., center, speaks to reporters as she leaves an event with furloughed federal workers amid the partial government shutdown, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Polls show the majority of Americans blame Trump for the shutdown. “The president is very much aware he’s losing the public opinion war on this one,” one senior administration official told the Post. “He looks at the numbers.”

As the American people’s patience runs thin, the Trump administration is increasingly feeling the squeeze. Vice President Mike Pence hit the Sunday morning talk show circuit to defend his boss and even said he was open to further negotiations. “The legislative process is a negotiation,” Pence said on “Fox News Sunday.”

However, Pence struggled to answer the question of whether Republicans are using the government shutdown as leverage for Trump’s southern border wall.

“You could open the government tomorrow. The House has passed bills to open the government tomorrow, why don’t you sign them and open the government, and then you can negotiate about this?” host Chris Wallace asked Pence.

Pence’s response belied what the polls say. “Well, because — I mean, you know, frankly, Chris, what the American people want us to do is to work on the priorities and the American people want us to secure the border.”

See also:

Nancy Pelosi should negotiate with Ann Coulter

House Democratic Whip Jim Clyburn May Have a Plan To End Government Shutdown, Immigration Impasse

January 21, 2019

The No. 3 House Democrat on Sunday offered a path for a deal to end the almost month-long partial government shutdown, focused on a permanent solution for so-called “Dreamers” rather than the three-year reprieve offered by President Donald Trump.

“Let’s go back and forth on this and see where we can find common ground,” House Democratic Whip Jim Clyburn of South Carolina said on “Fox News Sunday.” He spoke a day after Trump made his offer, which was rejected even before he presented it by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats.

U.S. House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn.  Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Clyburn said Democrats would love “to have a permanent fix” for the undocumented individuals in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, as well as people from various countries at risk of losing Temporary Protected Status — just as Trump “wants a permanent wall.”

“We want to sit down and put some stability in people’s lives,” Clyburn said. “We are all for negotiations.”

But Clyburn said Trump should first agree to open the government to give lawmakers several weeks to negotiate a deal that would include more money for a wall on the southern U.S. border. Trump is demanding $5.7 billion, which Democrats have flatly rejected.

Lawmakers from both parties and Vice President Mike Pence went on Sunday morning political shows — and Trump took to Twitter — to talk about a potential deal after the president on Saturday outlined what he called a compromise to secure money for the wall he promised during his 2016 presidential campaign.

Blame Game

It was Trump’s first substantive offer aimed at peeling off moderate Democrats and shifting blame with an American public that so far holds him the most responsible for the month-long shutdown that reached its 30th day on Sunday.

The Senate plans a vote as early as Tuesday on a package that would fund the shuttered parts of the federal government to Oct. 1 and provide $12 billion in disaster aid while enacting Trump’s compromise immigration offer.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will attempt to amend a House-passed spending bill with the text of the new legislation on Tuesday, according to a person familiar with the plan. If he cannot get consent from Democrats to do that, the vote on the bill would be pushed to Thursday, the person said.

The vote would come just before about 800,000 federal workers are set to miss their second paychecks on Friday from the shutdown. The House also plans votes this week on a package containing six of the same seven spending bills.

Additional $1 Billion

Clyburn noted that Democrats have already offered an additional $1 billion for border measures including upgrades at ports of entry. Clyburn said Trump also now seems to be talking more about “barriers” instead of the wall — and on Saturday the president said the barrier would not be “sea to sea” — a shift the Democrat welcomed.

The Democratic measure would provide $563 million for immigration judges and $524 million for upgrading ports of entry. That’s up from $504 million for judges last year and $254 million for ports of entry.

Clyburn said he’s previously backed measures that include enhanced border control technology and drones. That, he said, would be more effective than “a monument.”

“I’ve been talking about barriers for a long time,” Clyburn said.

While Clyburn pressed the Democratic insistence that Trump agree to open the government to allow time for negotiations, the idea of trading border funding for permanent deportation relief is an idea that’s had broad bipartisan support in the past.

Previous Support

Some 54 senators, including most Democrats, backed a path to citizenship for the DACA population in 2018 in return for $25 billion in border funding over a decade. But Trump opposed the bill because he also insisted on cuts to legal immigration.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, a newly minted 2020 presidential hopeful, said Democrats want a pathway to citizenship for everyone eligible for DACA in return for border money.

“We put a deal on the table a year ago to say, we will give you the border security money that you want” in return for a path to citizenship for all “Dreamers,” she said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. “That is still there for him. The fact that he’s saying three years just for DACA just shows that he’s not serious.”

Pence said earlier Sunday on Fox that the administration was open to negotiations, but he wasn’t willing to concede that Trump’s offer is dead-on-arrival at the Capitol.

Not Amnesty

“Now people will start voting and we’ll see where they stand,” Pence said. He also insisted that the president’s proposal wasn’t amnesty when asked about criticism from the right.

“This is not amnesty, there’s no pathway to citizenship, there is no permanent status here at all, which is what amnesty contemplates,” Pence said.

Trump issued several early morning tweets about the impasse, blasting Pelosi as “a Radical Democrat” and also insisting his proposal wasn’t “amnesty” as some prominent conservatives have said. The president suggested he would ultimately be willing to trade amnesty for an agreement, though.

“Amnesty will be used only on a much bigger deal, whether on immigration or something else,” he said on Twitter. He also promised “no big push to remove the 11,000,000 plus people who are here illegally” but added in a message to Pelosi, “be careful Nancy!”

Donald J. Trump


No, Amnesty is not a part of my offer. It is a 3 year extension of DACA. Amnesty will be used only on a much bigger deal, whether on immigration or something else. Likewise there will be no big push to remove the 11,000,000 plus people who are here illegally-but be careful Nancy!

38.1K people are talking about this

The suggestion of amnesty for Dreamers or others under any circumstance is likely to rile some of Trump’s anti-immigration critics on the far right. “Trump proposes amnesty,” conservative commentator Ann Coulter tweeted on Saturday. “We voted for Trump and we got Jeb!”

McConnell to call for vote on Trump’s protection of ‘Dreamers’

January 21, 2019

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is reportedly planning to pressure Democrats over the ongoing government shutdown by bringing up President Trump’s wall-compromise proposal for a vote this week — and combining it with legislation passed by House Democrats to fund government agencies through the fiscal year.

The GOP Senate leader is hoping the move will push blame for the shutdown onto the Democrats, The New York Times reported Sunday.

Trump on Saturday offered $5.7 billion for his border wall in return for some temporary protections for the immigrant Dreamers — but the Democrats have so far refused to negotiate at all on border protections as long as the shutdown continues.

Pelosi The Coequal — More Ego, Less Constitution

January 21, 2019

The divided government of 2019 is a mirror image of the divided government of 2011. Back then, Democrats controlled the White House and Senate, while Republicans had recently taken control of the House with a big victory in the 2010 midterm elections. Today, Republicans control the White House and Senate, while Democrats have recently taken control of the House with a big victory in the 2018 midterm elections.

It’s the same situation, essentially. But today there is a vastly different public conversation about the balance of power in government. These days, we are often reminded that Congress is a coequal branch of government, and therefore, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., stands on an even level with President Trump. Back in 2011, when the two players were Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and President Barack Obama, there wasn’t as much of that kind of talk.

A comparison, from the Nexis database of newspapers, magazines, websites, and television transcripts: From Election Day 2010 until Jan. 20, 2011, there were 18 mentions of “Boehner” and “coequal.” From Election Day 2018 until Jan. 20, 2019, there were 683 mentions of “Pelosi” and “coequal.”

By Byron York

Image result for Nancy pelosi, maxine waters, pictures

Democrats have been saying it every day, starting with Pelosi the morning after the election. Congress’ role is “not to be a rubberstamp, but a coequal branch,” she said, adding that she and her colleagues had a “responsibility for oversight as an independent, coequal branch.”

Pelosi said much the same many more times by Jan. 3, when she officially won the speaker’s gavel. In her first speech on the House floor, she said, “The legislative branch is Article I: the first branch of government, coequal to the president and judiciary.”

Virtually every other House Democrat said it, too. Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland: “coequal branch.” Rep. Adam Schiff of California: “coequal branch.” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida: “coequal branch.” Rep. Gerry Connolly of Virginia: “coequal branch.” Rep. Doris Matsui of California: “coequal branch.” Rep. Brian Higgins of New York: “coequal branch.” Rep. Lauren Underwood of Illinois: “coequal branch.” Those are just a few examples.

Image result for Steny Hoyer, pictures

Steny Hoyer

There was even commentary to the effect that Pelosi is now equal to the president.

A Jan. 17 discussion on CNN focused on the speaker’s battle with the president over the State of the Union address. Republican Rep. Michael Turner of Ohio said of Pelosi, “She needs to come to some recognition that she’s not equal to the president of the United States.”

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Rep. Adam Schiff

Susan Hennessey, a Brookings Institution scholar, CNN analyst, and editor of the blog Lawfare, blanched. “Pretty wild to hear a member of Congress forcefully argue that congressional leaders are constitutionally inferior to the president,” Hennessey tweeted. “James Madison weeps.”

But the speaker of the House is not, in fact, equal to the president of the United States. Congress, not the House, is a coequal branch of government. Actually, more than equal — it is, as Pelosi noted, the first branch of government. But to exert its will, Congress must be united. To overrule the president — and of course Congress can even remove the president — Congress must be united.

Pelosi controls just half of Congress. And she only controls the House when she gets 218 members to agree with her. To overrule a presidential veto, she needs 287 members to agree with her. And then the Senate, controlled by Republicans under Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has to go along.

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On the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, the executive branch is the only branch of government headed by a single person. That gives that one person, in this case Trump, the power of the executive branch. No single person in the other two branches has that power.

The bottom line is the House is one-half of a coequal branch of government. The speaker of the House is enormously powerful in the House. If she can persuade majorities, and sometimes supermajorities, of House members, and then majorities, and sometimes supermajorities, of the Senate to go along with her, she can block the president’s agenda and exert enormous power in the government. But by herself — not so much.

The system simply was not designed for a head-to-head equal competition: the president versus the speaker. It doesn’t work that way. It’s entirely understandable that Democrats and their allies in the press would want to see Pelosi as equal to the president. But that doesn’t make it true.

White House, Democrats Float Proposals to End Shutdown, but Wide Gaps Remain

January 20, 2019

Sides show no signs of movement on funding border wall or agreeing on related immigration overhauls, as Pelosi calls Trump’s offer to delay deportation of some undocumented immigrants a ‘nonstarter’

President Trump speaks about the partial government shutdown at the White House on Jan. 19.

WASHINGTON—The White House and congressional Democrats are each putting new proposals on the table in a bid to show flexibility in the impasse over the partial government shutdown, but they remain far apart on key issues regarding the funding for a southern border wall and related immigration overhauls.

Mr. Trump, in a Saturday address from the White House, called for $5.7 billion to pay for steel barriers on the border with Mexico, as well as funding for other border-security enhancements, in exchange for three years’ protection from deportation for some undocumented immigrants.

Vice President Mike Pence, speaking on Sunday on Fox News, described what Mr. Trump offered as a “good-faith compromise to address what is a genuine humanitarian and security crisis on our southern border and end the government shutdown.”

Democrats balked at the proposals, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) branding the plan a “nonstarter” and pointing out that it lacked a permanent solution for young immigrants, known as Dreamers, who were illegally brought here as children.

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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaks to reporters on Jan. 18. PHOTO: J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Democrats have long called for a path to citizenship for these immigrants under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, an Obama-era program that shielded the young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers from deportation.

President Trump, who rescinded that program in 2017, proposed a three-year protection from deportation. Democrats also have balked at wall funding, calling what Mr. Trump has proposed an ineffective way to protect the border.

Another sticking point is the order in which issues are addressed as the government shutdown enters its fifth week. It is already the longest shutdown in U.S. history, with 800,000 federal employees working unpaid or on furlough.

The White House has insisted that funding for the border wall be included in any spending deal that would reopen the government. Democrats say the government must be reopened before negotiations progress over immigration and the wall. “The starting point of this negotiation ought to be reopening the government,” Sen. Mark Warner (D. Va.) said on NBC on Sunday.

In addition to asking for the $5.7 billion, the president also proposed $800 million in humanitarian aid, $805 million in new drug-detection technology, 2,750 more border agents and law-enforcement officials, 75 new immigration judge teams, and a new system to allow Central American minors to apply for asylum in their home countries.

The Senate, where Republicans hold the majority, will vote on the Trump proposal, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, (R. Ky.) said on Saturday.

After staying on the sidelines of the fracas since the shutdown began Dec. 22, Mr. McConnell urged the president on Thursday to put forward a new proposal, arguing that Mrs. Pelosi was unlikely to budge, a senior Senate Republican leadership aide said. Mr. McConnell met with Mr. Pence and Jared Kushner, the president’s son in law and adviser, in his office on Thursday evening to discuss a strategy. The White House then formulated the current proposal, and Mr. McConnell signed off on it before the announcement. Because it has the president’s support, Mr. McConnell decided to move forward with a vote this week, the aide said.

The White House proposal will likely struggle to garner the 60 votes in the Senate that it needs to cross procedural hurdles. The GOP majority is 53-47.

The House, where Democrats hold the majority, will vote this week on a package of six funding bills that would fund now-closed government agencies, except for the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees border security. It would also pay furloughed federal employees and those working without pay in those departments.

The package of six bills aims to reflect areas of agreement between the House and Senate on funding the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Interior, State, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and related agencies. It would also isolate the fight over money for the border wall to one remaining spending bill.

The package would allot $563.4 million for immigration judges, about $58 million more than the year before. It would also provide for $524 million for additional infrastructure at ports of entry at Calexico, Calif., and San Luis, Ariz. That is more than double of the amount appropriated last year.

House lawmakers may also vote on a DHS spending bill that would increase the amount allocated for border security over the $1.3 billion previously voted on in the House, a Democratic aide said. The legislation, which is still being drafted, wouldn’t include more money for barriers at the border.

The Democratic-led bills aren’t likely to advance in the Senate because Mr. McConnell has indicated he will only bring up spending bills that have Mr. Trump’s support.

Meanwhile, Mr. Trump on Sunday tweeted criticism of Mrs. Pelosi after their personal tiff last week.

Last week, she urged the president to delay delivering the state of the union address later this month to a joint session of Congress because of security concerns prompted by the shutdown—a concern the Trump administration dismissed.

Then Mr. Trump canceled a military flight that was scheduled to take Mrs. Pelosi and other Democratic lawmakers to Afghanistan, citing his hope that Democrats would stay in Washington to negotiate, to which Mrs. Pelosi noted that no talks had been scheduled.

He also criticized Democrats for rejecting his Saturday proposal before he had spoken. News of what he was going to propose was reported by several news outlets before the address, prompting comments from Mrs. Pelosi and other Democrats.

“Nancy Pelosi and some of the Democrats turned down my offer yesterday before I even got up to speak,” Mr. Trump wrote. “They don’t see crime & drugs, they only see 2020, which they are not going to win. Best economy!”

Mrs. Pelosi responded in a tweet on Saturday, saying “800,000 Americans are going without pay. Re-open the government, let workers get their paychecks and then we can discuss how we can come together to protect the border.”

Write to Thomas M. Burton at and Natalie Andrews at

Trump defends immigration proposal — Says, “Amnesty will be used only on a much bigger deal…”

January 20, 2019

President Donald Trump early Sunday sought to sell his new immigration proposal, which includes funding for a wall along the southern border and extended protection for certain immigrant groups, amid pushback from Democrats and hard-line conservatives.

In a series of tweets, Trump chastised Democrats for dismissing his plan, and attempted to assuage immigration hard-liners who likened the administration’s latest proposal to amnesty for immigrants already in the country illegally.

“No, Amnesty is not a part of my offer,” Trump tweeted. “It is a 3 year extension of DACA. Amnesty will be used only on a much bigger deal, whether on immigration or something else. Likewise there will be no big push to remove the 11,000,000 plus people who are here illegally-but be careful Nancy!”

Donald J. Trump


No, Amnesty is not a part of my offer. It is a 3 year extension of DACA. Amnesty will be used only on a much bigger deal, whether on immigration or something else. Likewise there will be no big push to remove the 11,000,000 plus people who are here illegally-but be careful Nancy!


In two other tweets, Trump singled out Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for her opposition to the proposal, calling her a “Radical Democrat” and blaming her for the condition of the streets in San Francisco, which falls in her congressional district.

Trump called on Pelosi and Democrats to “do the right thing for the Country & allow people to go back to work” as a partial government shutdown triggered by his demand for wall funding stretched into its 30th day.

Donald J. Trump


Nancy Pelosi and some of the Democrats turned down my offer yesterday before I even got up to speak. They don’t see crime & drugs, they only see 2020 – which they are not going to win. Best economy! They should do the right thing for the Country & allow people to go back to work.


Donald J. Trump


Nancy Pelosi has behaved so irrationally & has gone so far to the left that she has now officially become a Radical Democrat. She is so petrified of the “lefties” in her party that she has lost control…And by the way, clean up the streets in San Francisco, they are disgusting!


Pelosi called Trump’s proposal a “non-starter” shortly before Trump unveiled the details amid media reports that it would include wall funding and protections for “Dreamers” and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients. The deal would also reopen swaths of the government that have been closed since late December.

Trump on Saturday proposed a deal that would include more than $5 billion in funding for a wall along the southern border, a three-year extension of protections for “Dreamers” who benefit from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and TPS holders, and funding for additional immigration judges.

A number of Republicans were quick to praise the proposal, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he would bring it up for a vote this week.

Democratic leaders and rank-and-file members were just as quick to criticize Trump’s plan, calling it a “non-starter,” “more hostage taking” and “non-serious.”

The president’s announcement also drew backlash from conservatives, including Ann Coulter and hard-line group NumbersUSA, who compared his suggestion to amnesty.

Ann Coulter


Trump proposes amnesty. We voted for Trump and got Jeb!

Alternative To President Trump’s Wall Plus Plan

January 20, 2019

Congress must act independently. Behaving honorably.

President Trump has been taking hostages for two years. He ordered an end to dreamers’ protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, ordered an end to the temporary protected status for hundreds of thousands of people, and then forced a shutdown of the government, leaving 800,000 without a paycheck and inflicting financial and emotional pain on them, their families and (often small) businesses. And then he came up with a deal — such a deal! He would give partial relief to the dreamers and TPS people and get $5.7 billion for a wall; then he’d open the government.

Wait, you say. Wasn’t he the one who put DACA and TPS folks at risk, and haven’t the federal courts already given DACA beneficiaries a likely one-year reprieve? Well, yes. A burglar has broken into your home, has taken the silver and is now offering to lease it back to you for three years only — but first, give him a $5.7 billion edifice.

By Jennifer Rubin
The Washington Post

President Trump proposes temporary protections for some undocumented immigrants in return for border-wall funding to end the partial government shutdown at the White House in Washington on Jan. 19. (Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA-EFE)

Alas, the press — fresh from a BuzzFeed beating — now presents Trump’s “offer” as serious. It’s not. Here is what would be a serious way to proceed:

  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) brings the bill to the floor and allows amendments.
  • After the amendment process is finished, the Senate votes.
  • The House puts together its own bill: permanent DACA and TPS relief, money for border security (not a wall) and a way to prevent future shutdowns (e.g., an automatic continuing resolution in case funding lapses).
  • The House passes its bill.
  • As the two bills go to a conference, the government is reopened.
  • The House and Senate then negotiate a resolution.

This does not reward hostage-taking. It allows the parties negotiate on even footing. It does not give McConnell and anti-immigration hard-liners the “out” that they won’t consider something Trump doesn’t want. Trump would be forced to decide at the end of the process either to veto a bill everyone else agrees upon or to sign a compromise measure — and he wouldn’t have the shutdown as a further bargaining chip.

Trump’s non-offer is instructive in three respects. First, his hard-line anti-immigrant supporters (e.g. Ann Coulter) already don’t like talk of “amnesty”; nothing short of deporting DACA recipients will do in their book. If McConnell votes and the Senate passes the president’s proposal, Republicans — including the president, we hope — will learn to ignore the most strident anti-immigrant voices and fulfill their obligation to negotiate without looking over their shoulders.

Second, Trump is plainly worried. Seeing the rotten polling for him and the wall, the impressive unity of the Democrats and McConnell’s unwillingness to help bail him out, Trump was forced to reverse his earlier pledge not to include DACA in the shutdown settlement. He blinked, albeit with his fingers crossed behind his back.

Third, if anyone still had doubts, Trump is the worst negotiator to occupy the Oval Office, in large part because he is utterly untrustworthy. We are in this predicament because Trump has repeated reneged on a deal (most recently a clean continuing resolution). Because he is entirely incapable of behaving honorably, Congress must act independently. McConnell should now be prodded to emerge from behind Trump’s skirts and negotiate in good faith as half of an equal branch of government. That might actually generate a reasonable compromise.


Nancy and Chuck Owe The U.S. A Counter Offer and Legislation — Trump’s Wall Won’t Protect Democrats Forever

January 20, 2019

They will need to articulate their policy, not just their moral position, on immigration.

A firm grip.  Photographer: Win McNamee/Getty Images North America

Donald Trump’s presidency encourages a kind of policy sloth. Because Trump knows practically nothing about policies, including his own, and lies about them regularly, there is little to be gained from debating him publicly or negotiating with him privately. If Democratic leaders do work out an agreement with the White House, it’s liable to be tossed aside if Trump gets spooked by his base.

Last year, with Republicans in charge of Congress, Trump rejected numerous offers for a border wall, with $20 billion or more in funding, in return for providing a path to citizenship for Dreamers, the undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. The $20 billion figure was quite large; Trump is currently demanding $5.7 billion.

Releasing the Dreamer hostages was a top Democratic priority, and Democrats were willing to pay a heavy price for it. However, Trump’s most virulent supporters generally want to deport Dreamers, who are mostly nonwhite. So Trump bailed.

Democrats will never again offer Trump $20 billion for his signature initiative; the politics have changed. Trump made anti-immigrant demagogy the centerpiece of last November’s midterm election. Republicans got clobbered, losing 40 House seats. The president’s job-approval rating, never high, has been edging lower over the course of the government shutdown that he deliberately engineered, claimed credit for, and then blamed on Democrats.

So far, the only thing the wall is protecting are Democrats, who feel little pressure to do anything but await Trump’s surrender. The pragmatic arguments that Democrats once made against a wall — it’s ineffective, expensive, impossible in some places due to terrain or private ownership, plain stupid — are increasingly shelved.

“The wall has now morphed into a moral issue for Democrats,” said immigration advocate Frank Sharry. “The wall has come to symbolize Trump’s racism and xenophobia.”

Republican leaders apparently concur. This week, for the first time, they took punitive action against Representative Steve King of Iowa for his racist provocations, which began many years before 2019. With Trump in the lead, the GOP fears being seen as racist. And with the Republicans’ nativist base empowered, the party also fears being seen as not racist enough. Thus a smack for King, a hug for Trump.

Yet when the shutdown, and the symbolic skirmish behind it, ends, the immigration debate will not. And it’s unclear how much progress Democrats will have made persuading distracted voters to embrace a realistic and humane alternative to Trump’s fantasy and aggression.

Trump is not winning the fight overall. A Pew Research Center survey this month found 58 percent of Americans oppose “substantially expanding” a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico, while 40 percent support it. But Trump has succeeded in further polarizing the debate on partisan lines, with more Republicans now supporting a wall and more Democrats opposing one. To a president under rising pressure from the law, whose lifeline is partisanship, that’s a silver lining.

As to the substance, will Americans who have been encouraged to imagine an impregnable curtain of steel be better able to imagine the legal and topographical fiascos that would ensue from trying to build it? Or the handmade wooden ladder that would be used to vault over it? What about a comprehensive alternative that includes a path to citizenship for the undocumented and tighter controls on borders and employment?

There’s no way to make progress on such arguments if the Democratic line is simply that the wall is, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, “immoral.”

In the third presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Trump in 2016, Trump said Clinton “wants open borders. People are going to pour into our country.”

It was a lie, naturally. Clinton never supported “open borders” — whatever that even means in a nation with a militarized border zone, long delays at key crossings, and a Border Patrol of more than 21,000 agents. Her campaign website included the boilerplate assertion that, as president, she would “protect our borders and national security” (though her immigration section was otherwise uncharacteristically spare).

Yet when Trump attacked, Clinton didn’t effectively counter. Granted, responding to every Trump lie would exhaust any human. But this particular charge was made in a nationally televised presidential debate. It merited a firm response then. And since Trump continues to make the false charge about Democrats generally, it merits a firm response today.

Last week, Pelosi suggested that a “technological wall” would better suit the demands of border security. The phrase, a vaguely familiar, and familiarly vague, one repeated through the years, at least connotes that Democrats are committed to security.

There is already quite a bit of technology — ground sensors, drones, mobile observation towers, imaging technology — at various places along the border. Representative James Clyburn, another member of the Democratic House leadership, similarly called for a “smart wall.”

That Pelosi and Clyburn aren’t even using the same lingo suggests that Democrats could stand to clarify their approach. If something happens that Trump and Fox News can exploit — a clash at the border, a killing by an undocumented immigrant — increased clarity may come in handy.

Six years after the Senate passed a comprehensive bipartisan immigration package with more than two-thirds of senators voting in favor, the basic outlines of a compromise haven’t changed all that much: large-scale legalization of long-resident undocumented immigrants and rationalized legal immigration, including temporary work visas, in return for heightened border security and a systematic crackdown on employers who hire undocumented workers. In addition, owing to the changing nature of the challenge, a robust regional plan to improve security in Central America will be necessary.

There’s no room for a symbolic wall in that basic formula. But that doesn’t mean Democrats should assume that everyone knows why.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

Francis Wilkinson writes editorials on politics and U.S. domestic policy for Bloomberg Opinion. He was executive editor of the Week. He was previously a writer for Rolling Stone, a communications consultant and a political media strategist.

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