Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin offers support for Trump’s shutdown compromise proposal

January 20, 2019

Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin offers support for Trump’s shutdown compromise proposal Gage Skidmore / CCL

President Donald Trump proposed a border security compromise on Saturday that he hopes will appeal to Democrats and end the ongoing partial government shutdown — and it seems at least one Dem is willing to consider the deal.

Sen. Joe Manchin, a moderate Democrat from West Virginia, took to Twitter on Sunday to express his approval of the president’s plan, writing that he’s looking forward to working with his colleagues on both sides of the political aisle.

Trump’s Proposal

The government is about to enter the fifth week of a shutdown that began before Christmas and was caused by disagreements between congressional Democrats and the White House over funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Some 800,000 federal workers that are either furloughed or working without pay will soon miss their second paycheck of the shutdown if it isn’t ended soon.

Looking to make progress on the issue, President Trump addressed the nation on Saturday afternoon with a proposal that would protect those covered by the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA, and those who have temporary protected status (TPS) in the United States for three years. In that time, the president said, Congress should work out a more permanent solution for these individuals.

In exchange, the president said he wants $5.7 billion of Congress’ budget to be allocated to border security, which would include a 200-mile steel wall.

Trump also proposed updated immigration policies, including one that would allow refugees from several Central American nations to apply for asylum in the U.S. from their home countries.

“Our immigration system should be a source of pride,” Trump said. “Not a source of shame as it is all over the world.”

Plan to be voted on

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is set to formalize Trump’s plan and place it before Congress to be voted on this week.

“With bipartisan cooperation, the Senate can send a bill to the House quickly so that they can take action as well,” McConnell said over the weekend. “The situation for furloughed employees isn’t getting any brighter and the crisis at the border isn’t improved by show votes. But the [p]resident’s plan is a path toward addressing both issues quickly.”

Unsurprisingly, Democrat leaders have already rejected Trump’s proposal. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called it a “non-starter,” and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said anything less than permanent protection for those covered under DACA and TPS is unacceptable.

“Offering some protections back in exchange for the wall is not a compromise, but more hostage-taking,” Schumer said.

Sixty votes are required to move the bill along. With the numbers as they currently stand in the Senate, a total of seven Democrats must join Manchin and get on board for the deal to pass.

Robert Ayers

Robert Ayers is a writer for Conservative Institute. He has a Bachelor’s degree from Quinnipiac University and a JD from the University of Connecticut.