Aaron P. Bernstein | Reuters
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) speaks with reporters ahead of the weekly policy luncheons on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 24, 2018.
Lawmakers’ talks on border security issues to avert another U.S. government shutdown have broken down over immigration detention policies, a Republican senator said on Sunday.
“Talks are stalled right now,” Republican Senator Richard Shelby told “Fox News Sunday” after a dispute over immigrant detentions. He said he hoped negotiators would return to the table soon.
Efforts in the U.S. Congress to resolve an impasse over border security funding intensified Friday and extended into the weekend as a special negotiating panel aimed to come to a deal by Monday, lawmakers and aides said. No additional congressional talks were scheduled on border security issues to avert another closure of the government, a source familiar with the process told Reuters.
Mick Mulvaney, acting White House chief of staff, told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday another federal government shutdown could not be ruled out. “Is a shutdown entirely off the table? The answer is no.”
One sticking point has been Democrats’ demands for funding fewer detention beds for people detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) than the Trump administration seeks. Republicans want to increase the number as part of their drive to speed immigrant deportations.
Shelby said talks were suspended over the issue but he hoped negotiators would come back to the table soon.
“I am hoping we can get off the dime later in the day or the morning,” he said. “We have some problems with the Democrats dealing with ICE detaining criminals … They want a cap on them. We don’t want a cap on that.”