Donald Trump

What You Need to Know as Shutdown Deadline Nears

Here are the basics on when the deadline is, what has to happen before then and more

With less than 72 hours left to negotiate a funding agreement, lawmakers are on the clock to get President Donald Trump to approve a bipartisan proposal to keep the government funded through the fiscal year.

If they fail to meet the deadline, the country will face a partial government shutdown for the second time this year.

Here's where we are. 

What is the deadline for Congress to avert another partial federal government shutdown?
This Friday, Feb. 15, 2019, before midnight.

What needs to happen by then?
Congress needs to pass an appropriations package that will get the president's approval.

What if that does not happen?
Negotiations will continue, and dozens of federal government agencies will begin to shut down over the weekend or on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, after Presidents Day, the federal holiday on Monday.

Where are we now?
Bipartisan negotiators struck a tentative accord on Monday, with nearly $1.4 billion for border barriers, far short of the $5.7 billion Trump wanted.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Wednesday that legislators "have indicated that they have pretty much reached an agreement" and hoped to finalize the legislation by Wednesday night and vote on it by late Thursday.

Though nothing is set in stone yet, the president was leaning toward approving the bipartisan proposal to avoid a shutdown, NBC News reported Wednesday.

Trump told reporters at a cabinet meeting Tuesday that while he is not thrilled about the proposal, he doesn't expect another shutdown.

"Everything" is on the table, he said at the White House, but "we certainly don't want to see a shutdown."

That said, the president does not seem to be relenting on the border wall. A White House official told NBC News Tuesday that even if Trump signs off on the agreement to keep the government open, other options were on the table to build a more substantial barrier. That likely includes declaring a national emergency to get more wall funding, a possibility the president has floated before.

How much wall would nearly $1.4 billion fund?
The tentative agreement would provide for 55 miles of new fencing — constructed through existing designs such as metal slats instead of a concrete wall. That's far less than the 215 miles the White House demanded in December. The fencing would be built in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.

What has held up negotiations this long?
Talks had stalled over the weekend as negotiations turned from border wall funding to detentions within the U.S. The White House asked for $4.2 billion for ICE to increase its capacity to detain as many as 52,000 immigrants, up from the 40,000 currently funded by Congress, NBC News reported. Democrats wanted to see that limited to about 35,000 people instead.

The tentative agreement yielded curbed funding, overall, for ICE detention beds, which Democrats hoped would mean the agency would hold fewer detainees.

But Democrats ended up dropping demands to cap the detention space ICE can use to hold immigrants in the interior of the country at 16,500 people.

What will happen if the government shuts down again?
It would put some 800,000 federal employees either out of work on furlough, or working without pay, though they would be entitled to backpay. Contractors would again not be entitled to backpay.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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