Lawmakers say they have tentative deal to avoid shutdown


By Erica Werner, Damian Paletta and Sean Sullivan | Washington Post

Key lawmakers expressed guarded optimism late Monday that they would be able to avoid another government shutdown, saying they were making progress in a series of late-stage meetings meant to resolve disputes about immigration rules.

The outcome remains uncertain, as negotiators must cut a deal before midnight Friday on funding for a series of federal departments. But after back-to-back-to-back meetings between party leaders, they signaled the pathway for a deal had emerged, even if some details remained unsettled.

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) said he was hopeful a deal could be reached Monday evening. “We’re working in good faith. I believe [Republicans] are too,” he said.

Leahy was meeting with Senate Appropriations Commitee Chairman Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), House Appropriations Committee Chairman Nita M. Lowey (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Kay Granger (R-Tex.). The lawmakers are on a bipartisan conference committee charged with striking a border security deal to stave off a shutdown, which would begin Saturday unless the House and Senate pass legislation and President Trump signs it into law.

The discussions are the first major political test for Democrats and Republicans after a 35-day government shutdown froze the paychecks of 800,000 federal workers until Trump backed away from demands late last month. Congress was given a short reprieve to try to reach a longer-term agreement, with a focus on border security and immigration rules.

Negotiators had made steady progress behind closed doors until rifts spilled into the open in recent days, with Democrats and Republicans angrily accusing each other of trying to sabotage the talks and raising fears that another shutdown was imminent.

The central stumbling block was Democrats’ insistence on limiting the number of undocumented immigrants who could be detained. The White House wants more flexibility, saying it needs the ability to tailor rules for …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Business

      

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