WASHINGTON (NBC News) – Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have a Thursday deadline before a second possible shutdown. Republicans and Democrats continue to negotiate but the stalemate continues.
With four days to go, lawmakers working on a deal to avoid a government shutdown are at a standstill.
“I will say 50/50 we get a deal. I hope and pray we do,” says Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL)
“We could end up in a train wreck,” adds Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT)
The conference committee negotiating border security is stuck on how much prison space to set aside for immigrants who’ve committed crimes and how aggressively agents will go after those who haven’t.
That’s reportedly holding up Democrats agreeing to any funding for a barrier at the border.
“Experts on securing it say these are our top three priorities, we need money, and yet they’re saying zero dollars for that? I don’t understand,” says Rep. Mark Meadows (R-SC).
The White House says we could see a shutdown Friday and President Trump may still declare a national emergency to pay for the border wall.
What you’ll probably see is the president say, “Yeah, okay. And then I’ll go find the money some place else,” says Mick Mulvaney, Acting White House Chief of Staff.
“If the President has something on his desk and wants to veto it, then we need to override the veto,” says Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI).
The White House says an emergency declaration is not the only way President Trump can get money to build a wall.
But the big money is on Capitol Hill and right now the wallet is closed.