News & Politics

Democrats Immediately Reject Trump's Offer to End Shutdown

President Trump leaves the podium after speaking about the partial government shutdown, immigration and border security in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

If Donald Trump thought he could end the partial government shutdown by dangling some tantalizing tidbits to Democrats on DACA recipients and Temporary Protected Status holders, he was immediately disabused of that notion when the Democratic leadership flatly rejected his proposals.

The Hill:

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said that Trump offering some protections for DACA and TPS recipients “in exchange for the wall is not a compromise but more hostage taking.”

Trump “keeps putting forward one-sided and ineffective remedies. There’s only way out: open up the government, Mr. President, and then Democrats and Republicans can have a civil discussion and come up with bipartisan solutions,” Schumer added.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), in a statement released shortly before Trump’s speech, said the proposal couldn’t pass the House and is a “non-starter.”

Was this just more political maneuvering by the president or a genuine effort to end the stalemate on the budget?

“Dems were not consulted on this and have rejected similar overtures previously. It’s clearly a non serious product of negotiations amongst [White House] staff to try to clean up messes the president created in the first place. [The President] is holding more people hostage for his wall,” the aide said.

There have been few defections on either side as Republicans are holding firm on wall funding and Democrats are just as united on refusing to budget for it.

But rank-and-file members have shown no signs of breaking away from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) or Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who have remained in close coordination throughout the weeks-long funding fight.

The House senior Democratic aide added on Saturday that the White House offer “cannot pass the House or Senate.”

“The President must agree to re-open government and join Democrats to negotiate on border security measures that work and not an expensive and ineffective wall that the President promised Mexico would pay for,” the aide added.

Though Republicans control the Senate, they need at least seven Democratic senators to get their plan over a 60-vote filibuster. But Democrats showed no signs of breaking from Schumer, who has taken to the Senate floor repeatedly to urge Trump and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to reopen the government before they negotiate on the border demands.

Both sides have gone so far out on their respective limbs that climbing down is not an option politically. Trump believes he can afford to wait out Democrats because the shutdown is playing well with his base (although less so than a few weeks ago). Pelosi and Schumer believe they hold the whip hand with the voters who are blaming Trump for the mess.

After nearly a month, it’s clear that the government is not going to fall apart if the shutdown continues. This gives both sides zero incentive to end it. There is some worry that the impasse is impacting the economy and if that happens, Trump may see the diminishing returns as a signal to get what he can and fold.

It’s pretty clear that the shutdown won’t end anytime soon.