The Trump administration's conciliatory decision to back off of the $5 billion it asked of Congress to build a border wall did little to get Washington closer to a budget deal before Friday's shutdown deadline.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tried to offer an alternative deal, one that would ask for $1.6 billion in fencing upgrades, but also an extra $1 billion in border funding. It was swiftly rejected by his Democratic counterpart Chuck Schumer and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.
"We cannot accept the offer they made of a billion-dollar slush fund for the president to implement his very wrong immigration policies," Pelosi said. "So that won't happen."
However, McConnell is introducing "simple measure" on Wednesday that is expected to appease all sides.
“I’m glad the leader thinks the government should not shut down over the president’s demand for a wall,” Mr. Schumer said Wednesday. “Shutting down the government over Christmas is a terrible idea.”
If the short-term measure passes, it will fund the government until Feb. 8. Should Congress fail to reach an impasse, the border wall issue will be brought up again in January, at which point the Democrats will be in control of the House. Hence why Trump was so adamant to bring it up now.
Conservatives were frustrated that Trump, who pledged to build a wall at the southern border apparently conceded to the Democrats, but the White House insists he has not budged one bit.
Still, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), a member of the House Freedom Caucus, criticized his party for failing to make good on their word.
"We've got the majority now," Jordan said. "For goodness sake let's deal with this. We should have done that back in March. We all said this, we should have done it back in March. But our leadership didn't want to go there to do it."