Wed, 23 Oct 2019

Washington DC [USA], Jan 16 (ANI): A latest funding bill initiated by the Democrats to reopen the government through February 1 failed to obtain the two-thirds majority in the House here on Tuesday.

The bill, also known as 'continuing resolution' (CR), is a short-term measure that extends the government funding at existing levels.

The bill, which went down 237-187, was brought to the floor in an aim to pressurise the Republicans to back away from US President Donald Trump's demand for the funding of the wall on the Mexico border, amid the partial government shutdown, that has now entered its record 25th day, The Hill reported.

On Monday, House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey introduced the funding bill, along with a separate stopgap measure that would provide funding to the government through February 28, which is expected to come to the floor on Thursday, as per the report.

Meanwhile, a delegation of Democratic lawmakers turned down an invitation from Trump to come to the White House in order to discuss border security issues earlier in the day.

Trump on Monday rejected calls from one of his top Republican aides to temporarily reopen the government.

Asked about Senator Lindsey Graham's suggestion that he would sign a short-term spending bill to hold talks with the Democrats over the border wall, Trump remarked, "I do reject it."

"I'm not interested. I want to get it solved. I don't want to just delay it. I want to get it solved," he was quoted by The Hill as saying.

In an interview to Fox News, Graham on Sunday urged Trump to temporarily reopen the government in a bid to lure the Democrats to come to the negotiating table. He also suggested that the US President could use his emergency powers to bypass the Congress and build the wall.

The shutdown was triggered on December 22 last year by a lack of consensus between lawmakers and the US President on the funding for the wall on the border with Mexico which was one of Trump's electoral promises.

Trump has reiterated his demand for $5.7 billion to fund the wall, asserting that the "growing crisis" of illegal immigration is hurting millions of Americans. So far, no agreement has been reached between Trump and the Democrats to put an end to the shutdown.

There is still no hope in sight for the end of the current shutdown which has been learnt to have impacted a quarter of the federal government and a large number of federal workers. An estimated 800,000 federal workers have been adversely affected by the lapse in funding. (ANI)

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