With the partial government shutdown in its third week, White House officials and congressional leaders again failed to make progress toward a resolution during talks on Sunday.
In the latest proposal put before the Appropriations Committee, President Trump remains steadfast in his request for $5.7 billion in funding for a border wall with Mexico. NPR’s John Burnett reports, “The White House is asking for 234 miles of steel barrier — which works out to about $24 million a mile.”
However, in what could be read as a gesture to appease Democrats, the Trump administration is now offering $800 million in aid to address humanitarian needs at the border, including better medical care and additional facilities for processing and holding those in temporary custody considered to be the most “vulnerable population.” In a Power Point presentation, the White House states that 50 migrants per day are referred to medical providers.
Other items on the White House list include:
- $563 million for 75 additional immigration judges and support staff to “reduce the backlog of pending immigration cases.”
- $211 million to hire an additional 750 Border Patrol Agents
- $4.2 billion to support 52,000 detention beds
In a tweet, President Trump characterized Sunday’s meeting as “productive,” but The Associated Press reports Democrats familiar with the talks had a different take, saying the White House did not offer budget details and again refused to reopen the government.
President Trump also re-asserted on Sunday that he’s willing to declare a national emergency in order find funding to build a border wall.