The Government Shutdown: What are Lawmakers Fighting Over?

As the government shutdown continues into a third day, a fiery debate is raging in Congress as lawmakers fight over provisions to fund the federal government. Immigration has emerged as the central issue, with both parties fighting over certain immigration reforms and protections.

President Donald Trump meets with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Image courtesy of The Washington Post.

Democrats in Congress won’t agree to fund the federal government unless an agreement on DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is reached. House and Senate negotiations on immigration reform stalled last week after several lawmakers said that President Trump made racist and hateful remarks about Haiti and countries in Africa. At a press conference on the first day of the shutdown, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer blamed trump for closing down the federal government, saying “Negotiating with this White House is like negotiating with jello, it is next to impossible,” however, Schumer later said that he agreed to fund a wall on the southern border in exchange for the protection of migrants who came to the United States under DACA. Negotiators are currently working out the details of an immigration reform agreement, but President Trump said he would not sign an immigration reform or spending bill unless the border wall was completely funded.

Chuck Schumer blamed Trump for the government shutdown at a weekend press conference with a poster saying “#TRUMPSHUTDOWN.” Image courtesy of Associated Press/J. Scott Applewhite.

Currently, Congress is currently working on a temporary spending agreement which would fund the federal government until Trump and Democrats in Congress reach a compromise on DACA. However, many in Congress are refusing to vote for a temporary spending bill because it wouldn’t address key issues including DACA which is set to expire on Until an immigration deal is reached or a temporary spending bill is passed, there is no end in sight for the government shutdown.


Cover image courtesy of Jewel Samad-AFP/Getty Images.

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