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Sunday, Sep 15, 2019

Trump scales down Mexico border wall money, shutdown continues

Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s the acting chief of staff and budget director, has said the administration has made a counter-offer to Democrats of an amount between the $5 billion sought by President Donald Trump and $1.3 billion that Democrats had agreed to in a legislation earlier

world Updated: Dec 24, 2018 22:39 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Washington
The U.S. Capitol is seen as the federal government is in a partial shutdown as Republicans and Democrats can't seem to agree on President Donald Trump's demands for $5 billion dollars to go toward building a wall on the US border with Mexico. Trump has, however, indicated he could reduce his demand (File Photo)
The U.S. Capitol is seen as the federal government is in a partial shutdown as Republicans and Democrats can't seem to agree on President Donald Trump's demands for $5 billion dollars to go toward building a wall on the US border with Mexico. Trump has, however, indicated he could reduce his demand (File Photo)(AFP)
         

As a partial shutdown of the US federal government continued, the Trump administration has said it is willing to settle for an amount less than what the president has sought for a wall along the border with Mexico to stop illegal immigration.

Mick Mulvaney, the acting chief of staff and budget director, has said the administration has made a counter-offer to Democrats of an amount between the $5 billion sought by President Donald Trump and $1.3 billion that Democrats had agreed to in a legislation earlier.

“We moved off of the five and we hope they move up from their 1.3,” Mulvaney said on Fox News on Sunday.

He has not specified the amount, and there has been no response yet from Democrats as the shutdown continued for the third day Sunday impacting a fourth of the federal government including departments of homeland security, interior, state, justice and agriculture. In all 380,000 federal workers will stay home and 420,000, considered essential workers, will work but without pay. They have all been paid with retrospective effect in the past.

Trump has cancelled a planned visit to his Florida resort for the holidays and is in town, but negotiations to end the shutdown are not likely to resume till senators return on Thursday to consider bill already passed by the House of Representatives. Officials have indicated the government closure could continue into the new year and past January 3, when the new congress starts, with Democrats taking control of the House of Representatives.

While the shutdown started on Saturday, the first day of real impact will be felt only on Wednesday when the government reopens after the weekend and the Christmas holidays.

President Trump, meanwhile, has continued to litigate his case for the wall on Twitter. “Virtually every Democrat we are dealing with today strongly supported a Border Wall or Fence. It was only when I made it an important part of my campaign, because people and drugs were pouring into our Country unchecked, that they turned against it. Desperately needed!”

First Published: Dec 24, 2018 22:39 IST