Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., said Sunday “talks are stalled” in a congressional push for a border security compromise and effort to avoid another partial government shutdown, warning that “time is ticking away.”
In remarks on “Fox News Sunday,” Shelby said the negotiations have bogged down over immigration and a “cap” on Customs Enforcement.
“I think the talks are stalled right now,” he said of efforts to reach a compromise before government funding for a slew of agencies dries up on Friday.
“I'm hoping we can get off the dime later today or in the morning because time is ticking away,” he said. “But we got some problems with the Democrats dealing with ICE that is detaining criminals that come into the U.S.
“And [Democrats] want a cap on them, we don't want a cap on that. … we have a number on the [border] barrier yet but we are working and we're hoping we can get there. We've got to get fluid again. We got to start movement.”
Shelby said President Donald Trump has signaled there’s leeway on border wall funding.
“I came out of the meeting [with the president] thinking we could make a deal with the Democrats if they are willing to meet us halfway,” he said. “The president basically in the conversation gave us some latitude to talk, and that's what we're trying to do to get to yesterday.”
Shelby said, however, the “specter of a shutdown” is looming.
“Shutting down the government should always be off the table. We would like for it to be off the table,” he said. “We've worked hard to fund the government, were going to continue to work hard in these negotiations but the specter of a shutdown is always out there.”