House Majority Whip Thinks Shutdown-Ending Deal Is ‘Close,’ But Other Lawmakers Remain Skeptical

The third-ranking House Democrat said earlier today that he believes lawmakers are “very close to a deal” that could end the partial government shutdown that has now spanned over two weeks — though it seems that not all members of Congress see eye-to-eye with him, the Hill reported.

South Carolina Representative Jim Clyburn appeared on CNN’s New Day on Wednesday, January 9, where he was asked about the ongoing partial government shutdown by host John Berman — and if there was an end in sight.

“I think we’re very close to a deal,” Clyburn told him, following up by detailing a series of bills that are being introduced today. Those bills would fund individual departments affected by the shutdown, ones which are unrelated to the dispute over funding for President Donald Trump’s planned border wall.

Clyburn explained that the House will start with a vote to fund the Treasury Department. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the ongoing partial government shutdown poses the risk of Americans seeing a delay in their tax returns, particularly those that file early during tax season.

This would be followed by prospective funding for the Departments of Agriculture, the Interior, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development.

“I believe that if we continue with this and send these bills to the Senate, I think that in the not too distant future the Senate will act and the president will respond in a positive way,” said Clyburn, who is the current House Majority Whip.

Meanwhile, other members of Congress were unaware of any deals being made — including New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez. Menendez, who appeared on CNN following Rep. Clyburn, told the network that he’s “not aware that we’re that close at all.”

Menendez did, however, express a similar argument to Clyburn’s, calling for departments that have no relation to border security to be reopened.

Democrats such as Clyburn and Menendez — as well as some Republicans in the Senate — have expressed support for re-opening specific agencies. The Hill noted, however, that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that he will not bring legislation up for a vote without the support of the president.

The partial government shutdown began shortly before Christmas last year, on December 22, and has gone on for 19 days with no real end in sight. President Trump continues to demand $5 billion to fund a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border — a request that Democrats have adamantly opposed.

After delivering a prime time address from the Oval Office on Tuesday night, President Trump will be meeting with Senate Republicans this afternoon. This meeting will be followed by a sit-down discussion between leaders of both parties.

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