Last week, President Trump and Congress came to an agreement to end the partial government shutdown and reopen the government until Feb. 15. In this overview of where things stand now, learn more about why there is another potential government shutdown, who the key players are, and whether negotiating a deal is possible.
Why There’s Another Potential Government Shutdown
The stalemate over the fiscal year 2019 appropriations bill for the Department of Homeland Security is what led to the 35-day shutdown, which ended last week. President Trump wanted his $5.7-billion wall on the border of Mexico included and congressional leaders in the House of Representatives refused to pass a bill that included this proposal. The recent shutdown ended when Congress passed, and the president signed a bill to reopen the government for three weeks. Once those three weeks run out, another bill will need to pass and be signed. As part of the agreement to reopen the government, a bipartisan conference committee was appointed to negotiate a deal on immigration and the border wall. President Trump has stated that if he does not get the wall, he would shut the government down again (refuse to sign the next appropriations bill).
Conference Committee to Negotiate a Deal—Is a Deal Possible?
This committee is made up of both Republican and Democratic congressional leaders from both the House and the Senate. This group of lawmakers are skilled negotiators and have experience working across the aisle. Sens. Richard Shelby and Patrick Leahy, the chair and ranking member of the Senate committee, have a strong working relationship, and earlier this year, they negotiated a deal to pass the Labor, HHS, and Education budget on time for the first time in over 20 years. Democrats are open to certain types of fencing along the border, but they oppose a wall. Negotiators will need to decide on the right mix of border security measures that can appease both parties. The committee includes:
- Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.)
- Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)
- Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.)
- Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.)
- Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)
- Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.)
- Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.)
- Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.)
- Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas)
- Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.)
- Rep. David Price (D-N.C.)
- Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.)
- Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas)
- Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.)
- Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-Tenn.)
- Representative Tom Graves (R-Ga.)
- Representative Steve Palazzo (R-Miss.)
Source: Bloomberg Government
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