Some moderate House Democrats have asked Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to start negotiating with President Donald Trump to end the partial government shutdown.
According to reports by Politico and the New York Post, a group of Democrats, led by Congresswoman Elaine Luria (D-Va.), have demanded that Pelosi start to come toward an agreement with the president.
The shutdown is hurting research efforts around Hampton Roads. New proposals can’t be submitted and existing projects are stalled. I have voted 9 times to reopen all or parts of our government. It’s long past time to #EndTheShutdown. https://t.co/pj7TRAcZgZ
— Representative Elaine Luria (@RepElaineLuria) January 22, 2019
So far, President Trump has negotiated from a $25 billion concrete wall all the way down to $5.7 billion for 200 miles of a steel slat fence in exchange for three years of protection for recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
Democrats, on the other hand, haven’t budged. As IJR Blue reported, Pelosi only offered Trump one dollar toward the border wall.
Because of this refusal to negotiate, the record-breaking shutdown has lasted over a month.
With federal employees missing paychecks, some Democrats have started to make some noise about negotiating. According to the letter obtained by Politico, these workers are more important than “winning” the shutdown dispute. The letter calls for Pelosi to start working with Republicans.
“We know that you share our value that effective governing should not result in winners and losers, but that our job as legislators is to do the most good for the most people. Across the country, hundreds of thousands of government workers are living in fear of what will happen if they go another week without a paycheck.”
Although the letter blames Trump for the shutdown, it ultimately acknowledges that it is Congress’ duty to pass legislation.
“We understand that this shutdown was not caused by the 116th Congress, but it is our job to fix it,” the letter says.
The letter directs Pelosi to ask President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to reopen the government on the agreement that the House will begin discussing funding with officials from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to get their full request for border wall funding.
The agreement would require a vote by the end of February, but allow federal workers to get their paychecks in the meantime. They believe this one month relief period would allow for a fuller debate on all aspects of the negotiation, including proposals around DACA, without hurting workers.
Although the call for Pelosi to take action is new, the calls to reopen the government while negotiations take place is not. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) floated a similar plan.
While neither side would proudly admit it, reopening the government would take away a bargaining chip from both sides. Neither Pelosi nor the White House seems to want to lose that power.