Bipartisan talks aimed at resolving the border wall dispute and averting a government shutdown Friday have broken down and are at an impasse, two people familiar with the situation said Sunday.
WASHINGTON — Bipartisan talks aimed at resolving the border wall dispute and averting a government shutdown Friday have broken down and are at an impasse, two people familiar with the situation said Sunday.
The people spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the private deliberations.
Lawmakers had been trading offers, trying to finalize how much money could go to barriers along the border as President Donald Trump demands money for his wall. Trump has called for $5.7 billion, but lawmakers were trying to find a number between $1.3 billion and $2 billion that would be acceptable to both sides.
At the same time, Democrats were trying to limit the number of detention beds that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency would have access to. Democrats want to cap detention beds as a way to limit aggressive detention activities by ICE. One of the people familiar with the situation said that was the issue that led to the impasse.
Lawmakers and Trump face a Feb. 15 deadline to pass new legislation to keep the government open. If they don't, large portions of the government will begin to shut down.
The Homeland Security Department and other agencies are operating on a short-term spending bill that Trump signed Jan. 25, when he ended the nation's longest ever government shutdown after 35 days. The shutdown was caused by his demand for border wall money - and Democrats' refusal to provide it.
The breakdown in talks makes it uncertain how the situation will be resolved. Trump has threatened to declare a national emergency to circumvent Congress and build his wall with the military, but that option faces GOP opposition and legal hurdles.