The partial US government shutdown is all set to drag on to the new year as opposition Democrats and Republicans refused to show any sign of compromise Thursday to end the impasse over President Donald Trump’s demand for border wall funding. Trump has refused to sign any stopgap spending bill that does not has provisions to fund a wall along the US-Mexico border which he says is essential to stop the flow of illegal immigrants.
The Democrats, who will hold majority in the US House of Representatives in 2019 and carries the crucial numbers in the Senate despite being in minority, has argued that such a move is waste of taxpayers’ money.
Statements issued by both the camps on Thursday indicated that the impasse is all set to continue in the new year. The partial government shutdown that started last Saturday has affected 800,000 federal employees, who have either been furloughed or are working without pay.
President Trump continued to blame Democrats for the shutdown. In a tweet, Trump said the government shutdown is not about the wall.
“Everybody knows that a Wall will work perfectly (In Israel the Wall works 99.9 per cent). This is only about the Dems not letting Donald Trump and the Republicans have a win. They may have the 10 Senate votes, but we have the issue, Border Security. 2020!” he said.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders also criticised Democrats on Thursday, saying in a statement that they had “decided to go home” over the Christmas holiday rather than stay in Washington to negotiate.
“The President has made clear that any bill to fund the government must adequately fund border security to stop the flow of illegal drugs, criminals, MS-13 gang members, child smugglers and human traffickers into our communities – and protect the American people,” the White House said.
“The administration understands this crisis and made a reasonable, common-sense solution to Democrats five days ago – we’ve not received a single response,” it said in a statement. The President and his team stayed in Washington over Christmas hoping to negotiate a deal that would stop the dangerous crisis on the border, protect American communities, and re-open the government, it said.
“The Democrats decided to go home,” it alleged. “The only rational conclusion is that the Democrat party is openly choosing to keep our government closed to protect illegal immigrants rather than the American people. The President does not want the government to remain shut down, but he will not sign a proposal that does not first prioritize our country’s safety and security,” the White House said.
The Democrats have described it as a “Trump shutdown”. “Federal workers should not be held hostage by the President’s demand for a useless and offensive border wall that he promised Mexico would pay for,” said Democratic leader Congressman McGovern.
“Republicans hold the House, the Senate, and the White House until January 3. They closed this government down and they have an obligation to open it back up. If they continue refusing to do so, the Democratic Majority will move to responsibly end the Trump Shutdown on Day One of the new Congress,” he said.
Senator Richard Blumenthal said Trump’s positioning for a “very long” shutdown disregards the struggle and sacrifice many families are currently making.