WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump declined to speculate Monday whether there will be another partial government shutdown at week’s end, declaring that the outcome of ongoing talks on the issue will be “up to the Democrats.”

Trump is set to hold his first political rally of the year in El Paso, Texas, on Monday as a bipartisan group of lawmakers is racing against a Friday deadline to come to an agreement over border security and agency funding or risk another shutdown.

Many Senate Republicans are wary of another shutdown after federal agencies closed for 35 days beginning late last year. But the White House has continued to suggest another shutdown is possible if Congress does not deliver money for a border wall. Trump had initially requested $5.7 billion to build about 100 miles of new wall. 

Until this weekend, the biggest sticking point had been how to deal with the president’s demand for $5.7 billion for a wall along the southern border. During the government shutdown that ended Jan. 25, Democrats refused to give him the money, saying a wall would be costly and ineffective.

Budget negotiators appeared close to reaching a deal last week that would provide some money for a border barrier but less than the $5.7 billion Trump wants. But the talks broke down over the weekend when Democrats demanded a cap on the number of beds that Immigration and Customs Enforcement uses to detain arrested immigrants.

Contributing: David Jackson, Eliza Collins

 

 

  

 

 

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