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Gov't shutdown drags on

Thirty-one days into the partial government shutdown, Democrats and Republicans appeared no closer to ending the impasse than when it began, with President Donald Trump lashing out at his opponents after they dismissed a plan he'd billed as a compromise.

Trump on Sunday branded House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a "radical" and said she was acting "irrationally." The president also tried to fend off criticism from the right, as conservatives accused him of embracing "amnesty" for immigrants in the country illegally.

Trump offered on Saturday to temporarily extend protections for young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children and those fleeing disaster zones in exchange for $5.7 billion for his border wall. But Democrats said the three-year proposal didn't go nearly far enough.

"No, Amnesty is not a part of my offer," Trump tweeted Sunday, noting that he'd offered temporary, three-year extensions — not permanent relief. But he added: "Amnesty will be used only on a much bigger deal, whether on immigration or something else."

The criticism from both sides underscored Trump's boxed in-position as he tries to win at least some Democratic buy-in without alienating his base.

With hundreds of thousands of federal workers set to face another federal pay period without paychecks, the issue passed to the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has agreed to bring Trump's proposal to the floor this week.

Democrats say there's little chance the measure will reach the 60-vote threshold usually required to advance legislation in the Senate. Republicans have a 53-47 majority, which means they need at least some Democrats to vote in favour.

McConnell has long tried to avoid votes on legislation that is unlikely to become law. And the Kentucky Republican has said for weeks that he has no interest in "show votes" aimed only at forcing members to take sides after Trump rejected the Senate's earlier bipartisan bill to avert the shutdown.

What's unclear is how McConnell will bring Trump's plan forward — or when voting will begin. The Republican leader is a well-known architect of complicated legislative manoeuvrs. One question is whether he would allow a broader immigration debate with amendments to Trump's plan on the Senate floor.

McConnell spokesman David Popp said Sunday, "When we have (a plan) we will be sure to let everyone know."

One key Republican, Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, said that he and other lawmakers had been encouraging the White House to put an offer on the table — any offer — to get both sides talking.

"Get something out there the president can say, 'I can support this,' and it has elements from both sides, put it on the table, then open it up for debate," Lankford said on ABC's "This Week."

"The vote this week in the Senate is not to pass the bill, it is to open up and say 'Can we debate this? Can we amend it? Can we make changes?'" Lankford said. "Let's find a way to be able to get the government open because there are elements in this that are clearly elements that have been supported by Democrats strongly in the past."

"The president really wants to come to an agreement here. He has put offers on the table," said Rep Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., on NBC's "Meet the Press." ''The responsible thing for the Democrats to do is put a counteroffer on the table if you don't like this one."



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