Talks Break Down; Shutdown Enters Second Day


Talks between party leaders have broken down as the government shutdown has entered its second day.  Senate leaders Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) have not spoken since Saturday evening and neither side shows any signs of backing off their positions.

Both sides believe they’re winning the blame game.  “I think our friends on the other side took some bad advice, really bad advice. I would hate to have to be trying to explain this myself,” McConnell said of Democrats from the Senate floor.

McConnell has introduced a continuing resolution that would reopen the government and fund it until February 8, but there is no indication that Democrats will support it.  Schumer has called on the president to convene a meeting at the White House between himself and congressional leaders but there has been met with no response to that suggestion.

Some Democrats expressed a willingness to accept a funding bill that reopens the government but does not include DACA, but any such bill would have to address other demands, they say.  They insist on more funding for community health centers, increased money for disaster relief and higher federal spending caps.  But other Democrats said a spending deal that didn’t include DACA would divide their party.

A bipartisan group of senators are trying to come up with a deal that could be presented to Republican and Democratic leaders.  Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va), one of the senators, said as many as eighteen or nineteen members may support the proposal.

“We’re trying to see if we can talk to the leadership on both sides and tell them what we think is a path forward,” Manchin said.

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