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WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump on Sunday defended his latest bid for border wall funding and blamed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for a partial government shutdown that is now on its 31st day, as a bipartisan group of governors warned that some states are close to running out of money to help the poorest Americans.

In a flurry of morning tweets, Trump rejected conservatives' complaints that his offer of temporary deportation protections for young immigrants amounts to amnesty and said that Pelosi and other Democrats "turned down my offer yesterday before I even got up to speak. They don't see crime & drugs, they only see 2020 -- which they are not going to win. Best economy! They should do the right thing for the Country & allow people to go back to work."

"She is so petrified of the 'lefties' in her party that she has lost control," Trump said of the House speaker.

Pelosi, of California, fired back at Trump on Twitter, urging him to "re-open the government, let workers get their paychecks and then we can discuss how we can come together to protect the border."

The back-and-forth is the latest sign that both sides remain far apart as the longest government shutdown in history continues. The dispute is affecting 800,000 federal employees who have gone without a paycheck. Some are resorting to food banks, charity and other employment.

As states scramble to mitigate the effects of the shutdown, the National Governors Association sent a letter to congressional leaders on Sunday, urging the Senate to immediately pass an extension of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the federal welfare program known as TANF.

The $16.5 billion block-grant program provides cash welfare benefits and other services for low-income families. At least one state is expected to exhaust its funding early next month, the association said, while the situation in other states varies "based on caseload and enrollment."

"It is untenable for states to administer effective TANF programs given the current uncertainty," Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, and Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, said in the letter.

On Saturday, Trump offered Democrats three years of deportation protections for some immigrants, including those who are enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, in exchange for $5.7 billion in border wall funding.The proposal was immediately rejected by Democrats and derided by conservatives as amnesty.

Nonetheless, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said he will move ahead this week on Trump's proposal. He faces an uphill climb in breaking the Senate's 60-vote threshold to avoid a filibuster, with Democrats insisting that they will not negotiate on immigration until Trump reopens the government.

A McConnell aide, Don Stewart, said the Republican package would include seven appropriations bills that would fund government agencies that have been partially closed for a month, as well as billions of dollars in disaster relief.

"The legislation that the majority leader will bring to the floor this week would both reopen the remaining portions of the government, fund disaster relief, fund border security and address immigration issues that both Republicans and Democrats would like to address -- all in one bill," Stewart said.

The DACA program provides work permits to more than 700,000 young immigrants, known as "Dreamers," who were brought to or stayed in the country illegally as children. Trump's offer on Saturday also included a reprieve of his effort to end the temporary protected status program for hundreds of thousands of immigrants who fled their home countries after natural disasters and other emergencies.

PROPOSAL'S CRITICISM

Trump sought on Sunday to rebut conservatives' critiques of his latest proposal, maintaining in a tweet that "No, Amnesty is not a part of my offer."

"It is a 3 year extension of DACA," Trump said. "Amnesty will be used only on a much bigger deal, whether on immigration or something else. Likewise there will be no big push to remove the 11,000,000 plus people who are here illegally-but be careful Nancy!"

When asked about Trump's tweet, Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., said on ABC's This Week that he wasn't certain what the president meant.

"What I don't know is what the president's talking about there, to say amnesty really involves a much larger group," Lankford said. "That's a longer debate and obviously not something we can solve quickly."

On the eve of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Vice President Mike Pence, speaking on Fox News Sunday, invoked the legacy of the slain civil-rights leader, noting that he "inspired us to change through the legislative process to become a more perfect union."

"That's exactly what President Trump is calling on the Congress to do," Pence said. "Come to the table in a spirit of good faith. We'll secure our border, we'll reopen the government, and we'll move our nation forward as the president said [Saturday] to even a broader discussion about immigration reform in the months ahead."

His comment drew immediate push-back from some Democrats, including Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., who said in a tweet that Trump "is no MLK" and that the vice president owes an apology to the country and King's memory.

"To equate the legacy of one of America's finest statesmen and champions of civil rights with a vanity project built on racist ideology and hatred is beyond disgraceful," Speier said. Other Democrats on the Sunday morning news shows rallied behind Pelosi and dismissed Trump's proposal.

When asked by NBC's Chuck Todd whether Trump's offer signals progress, Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., said the government must reopen before any work on border security can commence.

"We cannot reward the kind of behavior of hostage-taking," Warner said on Meet the Press. "If the president can arbitrarily shut down the government, he will do it time and time again."

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., who is pursuing a 2020 presidential bid, said on CNN's State of the Union that her counteroffer to Trump would be "what we put on the table a year ago and voted for, which was to protect all Dreamers."

James Clyburn, No. 3 House Democrat, offered a path for a deal focused on a permanent solution for immigrants brought the U.S. as children rather than the three-year reprieve offered by Trump.

"Let's go back and forth on this and see where we can find common ground," Clyburn, of South Carolina, said on Fox News Sunday.

Clyburn said Trump should first agree to open the government to give Congress several weeks to negotiate a deal that would include more money for a barrier on the U.S.' southern border. He noted that Democrats have already offered an additional $1 billion for border measures including upgrades at ports of entry. Clyburn said Trump now seems to be talking more about "barriers" instead of the wall, a shift Clyburn welcomed.

The Democratic proposal would provide $563 million for immigration judges and $524 million for upgrading ports of entry. That's up from $504 million for judges last year and $254 million for ports of entry.

Information for this article was contributed by Felicia Sonmez, David Nakamura, Paige Cunningham and Lisa Rein of The Washington Post; by Sheryl Gay Stolberg of The New York Times; and by Steven Dennis and Erik Wasson of Bloomberg News.

A Section on 01/21/2019

Print Headline: Trump rejects critics of offer for wall funds

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  • 23cal
    January 21, 2019 at 6:55 a.m.

    "President Donald Trump on Sunday ..... blamed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for a partial government shutdown that is now on its 31st day"

    What happened to “I am proud to shut down the government for border security. I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I’m not going to blame you for it. The last time you shut it down, it didn’t work. I will take the mantle of shutting down.” Trump, 2018
    *
    "In a flurry of morning tweets, Trump rejected conservatives' complaints that his offer of temporary deportation protections for young immigrants amounts to amnesty...." He is right there. It didn't offer amnesty. It didn't offer anything but a TEMPORARY distraction for a PERMANENT wall and PERMANANETLY spent billions of dollars.
    *
    "Nonetheless, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said he will move ahead this week on Trump's proposal." Perhaps instead he should move ahead on the bill which the House has passed and sent to him which is exactly what the Senate approved unanimously a month ago.
    *
    "We cannot reward the kind of behavior of hostage-taking," Warner said on Meet the Press. "If the president can arbitrarily shut down the government, he will do it time and time again." Exactly right.
    Don't negotiate with a hostage-taking terrorist. Open the government and govern as your supposed to do. Take care of the people hurting from missing paychecks, THEN do your job and work something out.....IF THAT CAN BE DONE. Trump wants the money and the wall on a very, very unreal fantasy of "After I get the money and the wall, then we can work something out." This will NEVER happen.

  • mozarky2
    January 21, 2019 at 7:21 a.m.

    From today's Townhall (excerpt):
    Matt C. Pinsker (JD, LLM) - author, national security expert, criminal defense attorney, US Army Reserve officer, and homeland security professor at Virginia Commonwealth University - is in a unique position to provide valuable insight on how desperately the United States needs a physical barrier on its southern border. During his service as a federal special prosecutor (SAUSA) on the border prosecuting thousands of cases involving illegal immigration and cartel activity, Pinsker has witnessed far more than your average journalist clamoring for a border photo-op (looking at you, Jim Acosta), and was happy to answer a few questions for our readers.

    As far as you are allowed, can you detail some specific cases that the public would be particularly struck by?

    I can cite multiple cases and observations that would horrify the public. One involved a 17-year-old child bride who was 8 months pregnant being smuggled into the United States by her 35-year-old husband who had a criminal record in the U.S.

    In another, two adults tried to fake their asylum claim by pretending to be married along with a 8-year-old they falsely claimed was their child.

    I also had multiple cases where convicted child molesters were arrested illegally reentering the United States.

    In a 6 month period, I prosecuted some of the same people three or four different times for illegally entering the United States.

    I had multiple cases where the Mexican cartels abducted innocent Mexicans and, after beating and torturing them, forced them to illegally enter the United States, sometimes carrying drugs. One guy who initially refused and was stabbed lifted his shirt up in court to show the wound.

    Many times defendants in court who were charged with illegal entry had scars on them which were the results of having been tortured. There were large groups of illegal aliens being held hostage in the US by cartels, being kept as prisoners in “safe houses” until their family could pay their “release fee.” When the families had difficulty, the aliens would be tortured.

  • mozarky2
    January 21, 2019 at 7:24 a.m.

    More from the article:
    Do walls work? Explain.

    Walls absolutely do work. They work for multiple different reasons, but not for the reasons people often think. Interestingly, there is not a single mile of wall where I served, though nearly every Border Patrol agent wanted one in certain areas. However, right on the border itself is a community college that was having a major problem with illegal aliens and drug traffickers coming over the river and then cutting through their campus. They almost completely stopped it by erecting a 12 foot high fence around the campus.

    Currently, we are catching about 33 percent of all aliens illegally entering the country. Even if a wall were to result in a modest improvement to just 40 percent, that is literally tens of thousands of people per year who are being stopped.

    Here is what people misunderstand about walls. They are not 100 percent perfect barriers where if you simply put them up no one can get through them. Instead, they work because: 1.) They add just a couple extra minutes to an illegal alien’s entry into the country. Although this does not sound like much, this means that Border Patrol has a couple more minutes to arrive in time to stop the person. The problem we often have is that Border Patrol responds to motion detectors, but because of the vast distances they cannot get there in time, so the aliens are gone by the time they get there. 2.) If, rather than scale a wall, aliens go around it, this decreases the total amount of border which must be patrolled, thus allowing Border Patrol to more effectively deploy its limited man-power in what are essentially “choke points” between walls.

    Additionally, a border barrier can severely affect the powerful Mexican drug cartels in ways most people aren’t aware of, forcing them to spend time and resources on entering the country rather than abusing people. A wall drives up the operating costs of the cartels, decreasing their power. They must purchase more equipment to get around or through it, and pay more for personnel. For example, a foot guide who now demands $1,500 to take a group of 15 people might now demand $3,000. Even a modest increase in the chances of getting caught forces the cartels to pay significantly more to get people to work for them (essentially, hazard pay). By driving up their costs, fewer people will be able to afford to hire cartels to illegally enter the United States, thus making human trafficking itself less profitable.

  • mozarky2
    January 21, 2019 at 7:27 a.m.

    The rest of the article:
    What struck you most about the situation at the border that most law enforcement and even lawmakers might miss?

    What struck me most was that 99.9 percent of all persons illegally entering the country are being trafficked in by the cartels. Many people mistakenly believe that illegal immigration is when people decide to come to the United States and sneak across on their own. Ironically, the cartels have done what the United States has not, which is secure the border. If they find an alien on their territory trying to cross without having paid their “fees,” they’ll murder them. It is a part of organized crime, and people who are routinely abused, tortured, and exploited are the product.

    Another thing that struck me was just how many persons illegally entering the United States have criminal records. They enter illegally because they cannot enter legally, and the reason why they cannot enter legally is because they have criminal records.

  • RBear
    January 21, 2019 at 7:40 a.m.

    moz looks like your "expert" isn't quite the expert he claims. "99.9 percent of all persons illegally entering the country are being trafficked in by the cartels." Yet, the vast majority of the increases at the El Paso and Tijuana border crossings are by migrants seeking asylum who come across and turn themselves into authorities. They came with the caravan. Maybe your "expert" was an expert a decade or so ago WHEN illegal immigration was at a peak, but that's not the case now.
    ...
    He also stated, "Currently, we are catching about 33 percent of all aliens illegally entering the country. Even if a wall were to result in a modest improvement to just 40 percent, that is literally tens of thousands of people per year who are being stopped." That actually is in conflict with CBP stats and information about the number of apprehensions. Where he gets his 33% is behind me or many others. Sounds like he's pulling it out of his a**. Otherwise, there would be a number somewhere to verify.
    ...
    Here's another false statement in his interview. "Another thing that struck me was just how many persons illegally entering the United States have criminal records." That ALSO conflicts with CBP numbers on apprehensions. The number is actually pretty low with regards to total apprehensions and only 16% of those are convicted of violent crimes. Most are re-entries or DWI.
    ...
    The bottom line on this current position from Trump is that it is NOT a compromise, but merely a formal WH position on what is currently in place. TPS is in effect until SCOTUS hears the appeal which can only happen in October, 2020 at the earliest with a decision probably in 2021. That means they have essentially 2 years of TPS. Trump is extending that by one year. So Trump's compromise is pretty weak at best in return for full funding of his wall AND other measures.
    ...
    The problem is that Republicans promised to take up immigration reform after the LAST shutdown with Trump, but didn't do anything in 2018. Why? I don't know. They didn't do much else in 2018. So the promise of taking it up after giving in to Trump's demands are shallow promises. It's time to provide a path to permanent citizenship for DACA recipients. That would be required to fund the government. If Democrats are going to give a BIG measure for Trump he has to give something BIG also.
    ...
    He also needs to stay in the room and negotiate and not walk out after Pelosi tells him no. Sounds like he's a pretty crappy negotiator.

  • Skeptic1
    January 21, 2019 at 8:02 a.m.

    The partial shut-down is now Nancy's. Trump has done all he can, Pelosi went public rejecting Trump's offer before even hearing it. The Senate will vote on it and pass it, Nancy won't even bring it to a vote. That will pave the way for Trump to declare a national emergency as two caravans from Honduras are marching towards our border. The Supreme Court will back Trump up and Nancy can be proud of the egg on her face and the tens of thousands that went without pay while she vacationed in Hawaii and her members went to Puerto Rico on a lobbyist funded junket. Those optics will be great campaign ads.

  • RBear
    January 21, 2019 at 8:12 a.m.

    skeptic says, "Trump has done all he can, Pelosi went public rejecting Trump's offer before even hearing it." First of all, if that's all Trump can do then he's really a crappy negotiator and doesn't really have a clue. Secondly, the details were leaked on the offer BEFORE his speech. Talk to a leaky WH if you want to blame anyone.

  • mozarky2
    January 21, 2019 at 8:12 a.m.

    By now, it's becoming increasingly obvious that Nanzi Lugosi's security concerns don't extend to the murderers, rapists, smugglers, and human trafficers pouring across our southern border.

  • Foghorn
    January 21, 2019 at 8:48 a.m.

    It’s a stupid non-offer. Of course it was rejected. And a note to the prolific cut/pasters: most commenters would simply post a link to an article - not the entire article.

  • RBear
    January 21, 2019 at 8:50 a.m.

    Frank just because she doesn't support a wall which your "expert" said was porous regardless? You can't even come up with a rational argument on this issue. Take a knee.

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