US lawmakers reach 'agreement in principle' to avert shutdown
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US lawmakers reach 'agreement in principle' to avert shutdown

Democratic and Republican lawmakers reportedly reached the agreement in a third round of talks on Capitol Hill Monday. “I'm hoping we can get off the dime later today or in the morning because time is ticking away,” said Alabama Republican Senator Richard Shelby, who’s leading negotiations as part of a bipartisan, bicameral conference committee, earlier on “Fox News Sunday.” “We got some problems with the Democrats dealing with ICE, that is detaining criminals that come into the US and they want a cap on them. We don't want a cap on that… I think the next 24 hours are crucial.” Shelby and Texas Republican Representative Kay Granger took part in closed-door negotiations with New York Democratic Representative Nita Lowey and Vermont Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy. According to Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, the Democrats' demands are "total nonstarter with the White House.” "House Democrats decided to add a poison-pill demand into the conversations at the 11th hour. It’s a new demand. It’s extreme: A hard, statutory cap on the number of illegal immigrants who could be detained by the federal government," McConnell said. "This is a poison pill that no administration — not this one, not the previous one — would or should ever accept." Funding for the wall has led to a budget impasse and an ongoing dispute over border security. Trump finally agreed on January 25 to end the shutdown without getting the $5.7 billion he had demanded for the wall, and instead, a three-week spending deal was reached to temporarily end the impasse. About 850,000 federal employees were furloughed immediately after funding ran out. US lawmakers have until Friday to reach an agreement or else there will be a second government shutdown.

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