Shutdown talks begin after Trump eases wall threat

Shutdown talks begin after Trump eases wall threat

The Senate's top Republican and Democratic leaders began negotiating Tuesday after the White House indicated President Donald Trump does not want a federal government shutdown over his demand for $5 billion for a border wall with Mexico. During a meeting on Capitol Hill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell proposed $1.6 billion for border fencing, as outlined in a bipartisan Senate bill, plus an additional $1 billion that Trump could use on the border, according to a senior Democratic aide unauthorized to speak about the private meeting. Democratic leaders immediately spurned the proposal. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer called McConnell Tuesday and said Democrats would not accept a billion-dollar "slush fund" for Trump's wall. For his part, Trump was cautious, telling reporters at the White House: "We'll see what happens. It's too early to say. We need border security." The White House said Tuesday that they were waiting to see what the Senate could pass. Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump would then review what they come up with. She added that in the meantime, Trump has asked Cabinet secretaries to look for any funding that could potentially be used for border security, suggesting the White House was looking for a way out of the standoff. The meeting between the top leaders, after the White House's willingness to back down from Trump's $5 billion demand, offered the first signs of a movement after days of impasse as the clock ticks down toward Friday's funding deadline. Without a resolution, more than 800,000 government workers could be furloughed or sent to work without pay, disrupting government operations days before the Christmas holiday.
Trump, Congress remain apart as shutdown looms

Trump, Congress remain apart as shutdown looms

Congress is racing to avoid a partial government shutdown next Friday over President Donald Trump's border wall. But you wouldn't know it by the schedule, as lawmakers left town waiting for the White House's next move. The House is taking an extended five-day weekend, returning Wednesday night. The Senate returns Monday after a three-day absence. The ball is in Trump's court, both sides say, and the president met Friday with top aides to discuss his spending strategy. There's an expectation on Capitol Hill he'll reach out soon to offer lawmakers a plan. AP reporter Lisa Mascaro explains the main "problem is how much money Congress is willing to give the president for this long promised border wall with Mexico." The president said this week he'd be "proud" to shut down the government over the $5 billion he wants for the wall on the southern border, but he has since taken a softer tone, tweeting, "Let's not do a shutdown, Democrats - do what's right for the American People!" But Trump doesn't have the votes from the Republican-controlled Congress to support funding for the wall at the level he wants. Democratic congressional leaders, Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, made a counter offer during a contentious meeting at the White House of no more than $1.6 billion, as outlined in a bipartisan Senate bill. The money would not go for the wall but for fencing upgrades and other border security. Democrats also offered to simply keep funding at its current level, $1.3 billion. "They tried with the president to talk through some of these issues, but didn't quite get very far," said Mascaro." "I think there is a sense that all sides need to maybe try again and see what they can come up with here. At this point though neither side seems really willing to budge." Without a resolution, parts of the federal government would shut down at midnight December 21.
Clock ticks toward potential Friday shutdown

Clock ticks toward potential Friday shutdown

With just five days left to avert a partial government shutdown… President Trump locked in a standoff with Congress over HIS demand for $5 billion dollars for a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico… But Democrats and some Republicans refusing to give in insisting there are more effective less costly ways to control the border. If no deal is reached by midnight Friday, a shutdown could leave about a quarter of the federal workforce without paychecks, drying up funding for the space program, the National Parks System, the U.S. Diplomatic Corps, and agriculture programs. Essential workers would not be paid until the shutdown ends. Congress would have to decide whether to award backpay. A senior House Republican aid saying his party was quote "in a pickle over how to keep the government open" -- unable to muster the votes for Trump's wall With the clock ticking, the House of Representatives will not show up for work again until Wednesday night. Senior White House advisor Stephen Miller on CBS's Face the Nation SUNDAY defending Donald Trump's campaign promise to build that wall.
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Graincorp says LTAP takeover bid not sufficiently certain

Graincorp says LTAP takeover bid not sufficiently certain

Graincorp (ASX:GNC) says Long-Term Asset Partners $2.4 billion takeover proposal is not yet sufficiently certain, or in a form which would allow the board to make a recommendation to shareholders. Earlier this month Graincorp received a non-binding takeover bid from Long-Term Asset Partners at a price of $10.42 a share. Graincorp is providing Long-Term Asset Partners due diligence to enable the company to determine whether it can put forward a more certain proposal. Graincorp says the LTAP proposal is subject to a number of conditions and involves a complex financing structure with significant leverage comprising $3.2 billion in acquisition facilities from Goldman Sachs and $400 million from Westbourne Capital. The global agri business says the proposal is just one of several potential strategic initiatives under evaluation. Shares in Graincorp (ASX:GNC) are trading 0.8 per cent lower at $9.02.
Trump's safety panel weighs in on arming teachers

Trump's safety panel weighs in on arming teachers

President Donald Trump's school safety commission said it should be left to states and schools to decide whether to arm teachers, but Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said she urges schools to "seriously consider" the option. The panel, led by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, made the recommendation in a report that lays out dozens of suggestions to improve safety in America's schools. Trump created the commission in March following a Parkland, Florida, school shooting that killed 17 students and staff members. Along with DeVos, the safety commission includes leaders of the departments of Justice, Health and Human Services and Homeland Security. They issued their findings after more than a dozen meetings with teachers, parents, students, mental health experts, police and survivors of school shootings. The report highlights districts that have armed teachers, and it points schools to federal funding that can be used for firearm training. While the report doesn't explicitly encourage schools to arm staff members, it says they "may consider" the option if their states allow it. And while DeVos has previously said she has no plans to let schools use federal education funding to arm staff members, the panel pointed schools to a Justice Department grant that can be used on firearm training. On gun regulation, the commission's only suggested change was a call for more states to adopt laws allowing "extreme risk protection orders," or court orders that temporarily restrict access to firearms for people who are found to pose risks to themselves or others. Among other proposals, the commission called for more training to help school officials identify mental health problems when students are younger, and it urges schools to hire more military veterans or retired police officers with the training to respond in an emergency. It also suggested several measures schools should take to "harden" their buildings, including installing windows with laminated or bulletproof glass, and...
 - Shutdown talks begin after Trump eases wall threat
Shutdown talks begin after Trump eases wall threat
 - Trump, Congress remain apart as shutdown looms
Trump, Congress remain apart as shutdown looms
 - Clock ticks toward potential Friday shutdown
Clock ticks toward potential Friday shutdown
 - Graincorp says LTAP takeover bid not sufficiently certain
Graincorp says LTAP takeover bid not sufficiently certain
 - Trump's safety panel weighs in on arming teachers
Trump's safety panel weighs in on arming teachers

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