Talks Over Border Security Break Down, Imperiling Effort to Prevent Shutdown

WASHINGTON — Bipartisan talks to reach a border security agreement have stalled, lawmakers along with aides said on Sunday, imperiling efforts to prevent another government shutdown days before the Friday deadline.

Senator Richard C. Shelby of Alabama, the Republican chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee along having a key figure from the negotiations, confirmed the impasse on Sunday, saying which he was “not confident we’re going to get there.”

“I’ll say 50-50 we get a deal,” Mr. Shelby said, speaking on “Fox News Sunday.” “The specter of a shutdown is actually always out there.”

The 17 House along with Senate lawmakers negotiating, known as a conference committee, had set an informal deadline of Monday to reach a deal, because Congress could need which much time to consider the legislation without waiving procedural rules along with still pass which by Friday, when funding for several departments along with agencies expires. however an aide familiar with the talks said lawmakers had stopped communicating.

The hang-up was not primarily the amount of funding for a border barrier, however a Democratic effort to force Immigration along with Customs Enforcement to focus on detaining migrants with criminal records instead of people who have overstayed their visas by limiting the number of beds which has in detention centers.

President Trump, weighing in on Twitter, blamed Democratic leadership for the impasse.

“I don’t think the Dems on the Border Committee are being allowed by their leaders to make a deal,” he wrote. “They are offering very little money for the desperately needed Border Wall & today, out of the blue, want a cap on convicted violent felons to be held in detention!”

While Democrats refused to entertain the prospect of fulfilling Mr. Trump’s $5.7 billion demand for a border wall, lawmakers had grown closer to accepting a number between $1.3 billion along with $2 billion for physical barriers.

however they also demanded the number of beds for ICE, which detains immigrants who are already from the country, be limited to 16,500.


Republicans balked at the limitation, refused to accept the latest offer coming from Democrats along with have yet to make a counteroffer, according to an aide familiar with the negotiations.

“How from the earth after which speech does he sign a bill which could reduce the bed spaces available for violent offenders?” said Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina along having a close ally of the president, referring to Mr. Trump’s State of the Union address.

Speaking on “Sunday Morning Futures” on Fox News, he added, “He can’t do which, he won’t do which along with you can take which to the bank.”

Still, Mr. Shelby along with Senator Jon Tester, Democrat of Montana along having a member of the conference committee, said on Sunday which they had not given up on reaching a deal. Democratic conferees held a conference call on Sunday morning to discuss options, according to a Democratic aide, however did not settle on a final decision on how to move forward.

The breakdown in negotiations came as Pentagon along with administration officials were preparing For two main situations: another partial government shutdown or the president, unsatisfied with an agreement produced by the bipartisan panel, fulfilling his threat to declare a national emergency.

Mr. Trump has told allies which while he could grudgingly accept a border security figure of about $2 billion, he was still considering using his executive authority to declare an emergency.

“The Wall will get built one way or the some other!” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter on Saturday afternoon.

In what one Defense Department official described as a surreal scramble over the weekend, Pentagon officials met on Friday along with over the weekend to identify which Army Corps of Engineers construction projects could be tapped for money to help build Mr. Trump’s wall if the president declared a national emergency.

Officials pored over the language of multiple draft declarations which Mr. Trump might invoke if a deal is actually not reached or he rejects what lawmakers agree upon. Mr. Trump’s top national security aides — the so-called principals committee — are scheduled to meet on Monday to discuss which matter. Mr. Trump is actually then to convene a full National Security Council meeting on Tuesday, officials said.

If Mr. Trump declares a national emergency to build the wall, critics are likely to file suit in court to block construction along with halt any funds shifted to the project. Democratic lawmakers, particularly from the House, are also preparing legislation which could limit the president’s ability to do so.

To stave off a court challenge, one proposal circulating among some White House officials, including those close to Stephen Miller, the president’s top domestic policy adviser, is actually to claim which the wall could be built to protect the more than 5,000 active-duty troops today operating near the southwestern border or deploying there soon.