Is A Resolution in Sight?

Aaron Wemhoff and Madison Burke, WIN-TV Reporters

Since December 22, the government has been partially shut down over a dispute on funding for the U.S-Mexico border wall. Both the Republicans and Democrats are currently at a standstill. For Democrats, the shutdown is about Republican misgovernment and the GOP’s refusal to bargain in good faith over several outstanding issues, including immigration. For Republicans, the conflict is based around the Democrats’ refusal to agree on a deal that includes CHIP funding for six years. Their refusal to agree is due to being bound to illegal immigrants and their demands for Dreamer protections. On the one hand, it may seem irresponsible to spend so much money on a border wall but on the other, it may be irresponsible to leave the borders so open. This is the root of the issue causing debate between the two parties.

President Donald Trump, a member of the Republican party, refuses to reopen the government until an agreement can be struck over funding for the U.S-Mexico border wall. The idea of reopening the government while negotiations are happening has been rejected. There is currently a stalemate as the president will settle for no other sum of money than $5 billion but the Democrats will settle for a lower amount. But after a meeting held with Democrats in Congress, they said that even if the government were to be reopened they would still not consider the wall so the next step for the president could be to declare a national emergency to lay the groundwork.

From the Democratic point of view, they believe that the $5 billion sum of money is unreasonable and refuse to agree until the amount is lowered. They also believe that the president’s proposal would offer as much certainty to immigrants who would have been legally protected for longer and could have had a path to citizenship. Senator Whip Dick Durbin, one of the leading voices for dreamers, said he “cannot offer support as reported and do not believe it can pass the Senate” and he would rejoin talks to “resolve all outstanding issues” on immigration after the government is funded.

During this shutdown, 380,000 federal workers have been furloughed and another 420,000 workers who have been deemed essential are currently working without pay. The current government shutdown is the longest in history and stands to last even longer if recent negotiations are a failure. Though the end may be in sight, nothing is set in stone.