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Gov’t Shutdown in 2nd Week as Border Wall Dispute Lingers

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The partial government shutdown is in its second full week at the dawn of 2019, with lawmakers and President Trump remaining at odds over his demand for money to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

The partial government shutdown is in its second full week at the dawn of 2019, with lawmakers and President Trump remaining at odds over his demand for money to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border.

Democrats in the House of Representatives say that when they assume control of the chamber on Thursday, they plan to quickly approve legislation to reopen the quarter of government operations that have been closed since Dec. 22, although passage in the Senate is uncertain.

The Democrats’ spending plan includes no money for Trump’s border wall, which the U.S. leader is deriding.

“The Democrats will probably submit a Bill, being cute as always, which gives everything away but gives NOTHING to Border Security, namely the Wall,” Trump said in a New Year’s Eve Twitter comment.

As the calendar turned to the new year, Trump said, in an all-caps tweet, that Americans would have a good year, if they weren’t obsessed with opposing him.

“HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE, INCLUDING THE HATERS AND THE FAKE NEWS MEDIA! 2019 WILL BE A FANTASTIC YEAR FOR THOSE NOT SUFFERING FROM TRUMP DERANGEMENT SYNDROME,” he said. “JUST CALM DOWN AND ENJOY THE RIDE, GREAT THINGS ARE HAPPENING FOR OUR COUNTRY!”

The House Democrats’ budget plan would fund most shuttered agencies through the end of September, while approving funding for the Department of Homeland Security through Feb. 8.

In Twitter comments, Trump has continued to push for wall funding, $5 billion as a down payment on the barrier that could cost more than $20 billion, while Democrats have offered to approve $1.3 billion for other border security efforts, but not the wall.

In one tweet Monday, Trump said, “Without the Wall there can be no Border Security.”

House speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer released a joint statement Monday calling for Republican support for the new funding legislation.

“It would be the height of irresponsibility and political cynicism for Senate Republicans to now reject the same legislation they have already supported,” the statement said.

Trump and Democratic lawmakers have not held any negotiations for days over the dispute. The ongoing shutdown of a quarter of U.S. government operations means 380,000 government workers are furloughed while another 420,000 are still working, but will not be paid until the funding dispute is resolved.

(VOA)

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