President Donald Trump has proclaimed himself to be among the best deal makers in the world. However, he was unable to secure a deal this weekend that would open the government and also secure funding for his border wall. Trump did offer Democrats some concessions, including protection for “Dreamers” for at least three years, but it wasn’t enough.
In fact, House leader Nancy Pelosi rejected the deal before Trump even finished his public proposal. Pelosi claimed that the “concessions” Trump stated publicly had already been offered and that his newest proposal was merely a rehash of past ones.
Not only that, but critics have noted that Trump was the one who revoked the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) act in the first place, setting the stage for Dreamers to be deported. Some argue that the president is essentially trying to use Dreamers as hostages and that three years of protection is far too small of a concession.
If Trump wants to end the government shutdown and secure funding for his wall, he’ll have to offer up more enticing concessions. This time last year, Democrats actually offered the president up to $20 billion dollars for his wall, according to some sources. In exchange, Democrats wanted permanent protection and a pathway to citizenship from Dreamers. Trump turned that offer down.
He might be regretting that decision right now. Currently, polls suggest that President Trump and the Republican Party are taking most of the blame for the shutdown. As such, Democrats are in no rush to open up the government, especially if that means making major concessions.
Democrats have been digging in, claiming that they will only discuss border security after the government is opened. Of course, this would result in Trump losing perhaps his biggest bargaining chip. Democrats had previously offered temporary funding that would keep the government open for a matter of weeks while negotiations continued. Trump likewise rejected that proposal.
The announcement on Saturday was likely aimed less at actually opening the government and more trying to shift blame onto Democrats. Still, Democrats have proven some savvy in recent weeks, pushing a variety of bills forward that would open the government. Some Republicans in the House and even the Senate have hinted at willingness to support Democrat efforts, even if funding for the wall isn’t included.
If Trump won’t back down from funding for the wall, his only viable option might be to offer serious and permanent immigration reform. This will probably include long-term or permanent protection for Dreamers, and likely even a pathway to citizenship. So far, Trump has all but refused to consider such drastic measures.
Still, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is going to try his hand at breaking through the logjam. McConnell intends to push legislation forward this week that would provide funding for Trump’s wall and open the government. Previously, McConnell had blocked bi-partisan efforts that would have funded the government.
On Twitter, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has claimed that Democrats have secured enough support to end the government shutdown. However, according to Ocasio-Cortez, Mitch McConnell has been blocking a would-be vote.
Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of federal government employees will have to hold out awhile longer to get their paycheck. Reportedly, some are turning to food banks and other drastic measures in order to get by.