Monday, January 28, 2019

Lawmakers to Debate Border, Immigration as Next Shutdown Threat Looms

Photo: Andrew Harnik/Associated Press
The three-week push to avoid another government shutdown starts this week when a group of lawmakers negotiate over the issue that caused the impasse: whether to fund a wall along the border with Mexico.
As part of President Trump’s move Friday to reopen the government after 35 days, even without funding for his long-promised wall, congressional leaders from both chambers appointed a bipartisan group of lawmakers tasked with hashing out a longer-term deal on border security and, potentially, broader immigration issues.
Both topics are politically charged and difficult to navigate, just as they were in late December, when Mr. Trump first refused to sign any spending bills that didn’t include at least $5.7 billion to go toward building a border wall. That move triggered the longest partial shutdown in U.S. history.
Congress has struggled for years to tackle a broader overhaul of the immigration system. While lawmakers were hopeful that Congress and the White House would be eager to avoid another shutdown, persuading Mr. Trump to sign it may remain a separate challenge.
Rep. Nita Lowey (D., N.Y.)  Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP
Adding to that challenge for Mr. Trump: his leverage on the immigration issue has only dwindled since he took office. Republicans, who controlled Congress for much of his presidency, lost the House majority in the November elections, and polling shows voters largely blamed Mr. Trump for a shutdown that left about 800,000 federal workers without pay.
Led by House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D., N.Y.), the group is expected to hold its first public meeting this week. Its roster is drawn from members from both chambers’ appropriations committees, which draft the spending bills that fund the government, and includes some lawmakers deeply versed in immigration policy.
There are 17 total members. --->
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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