Mid-South lawmakers working to negotiate funding to prevent another shutdown

Mid-South lawmakers working to negotiate funding to prevent another shutdown

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The federal government is open, but now a select group of lawmakers must strike a deal in the coming weeks to avoid another shutdown.

The group of 17 bipartisan Senate and House members have the task of finding common ground to keep the government open. In that group are Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Mississippi, and Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tennessee.

The issue at hand is funding the Department of Homeland Security. The most contentious topic is how much money, if any, should go to President Donald Trump’s border wall.

The idea is that both sides will want to come out with a victory in negotiations, but for that to happen both sides will need to give something up.

Both Palazzo and Fleischmann support the $5.7 billion border wall, but are both willing to make compromises on funding?

“My figures would be different perhaps from some of my other colleagues, but that does not remove the ability to get to a figure or to an agreement,” Fleischmann said.

“Is he going to get you know the $5.7 billion for the wall?” Palazzo said. “I mean you know, just, if you think about it, probably not. So the question is how much is he going to get for the defensive barriers?”

Palazzo said the committee plans to bring in experts to talk about what’s actually going on at the border. He wants lawmakers to travel to the border to see for themselves what is necessary for security.

The committee is expected to reconvene next week.

Congress and the president have until Feb. 15 to come to an agreement before partial funding for the government runs out.

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