File this under "Who could have seen that coming?"
After 48 hours of narrative-molding declarations that a border security deal was "imminent" or "expected before the end of the weekend"; Bloomberg reports that talks to avert a second government shutdown over border wall funding broke down on Saturday, and Republicans and Democrats have stopped communicating for now, according to two people familiar with the state of the talks.
Bloomberg reports that, as of Saturday, it seemed that negotiators were homing in on a proposal with border barrier funding of between $1.3 billion and $2 billion, said a person familiar with the talks.
However, the latest sticking point appears to be over detention beds operated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, one person said.
Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, seemed to start managing expectations on Sunday that a shutdown isn’t the most likely option but that he “absolutely cannot” rule it out.
“He’s going to do whatever he legally can to secure the border,” Mulvaney said of President Donald Trump on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” one of two scheduled appearances on Sunday talk shows.
"You cannot take the shutdown off the table and you cannot take $5.7 billion [for the border wall] off the table. But if you end up some place in the middle, what you'll probably see is the president say: 'Ok, and then I'll go find the money some place else'."
Finally, in what really matters after all, Mulvaney confirmed the level of proposed border wall funding “all over the map.”
Which is perhaps what prompted Trump to tweet this yesterday:
The Democrats just don’t seem to want Border Security. They are fighting Border Agents recommendations. If you believe news reports, they are not offering much for the Wall. They look to be making this a campaign issue. The Wall will get built one way or the other!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 9, 2019
And follow up today with more of the same...
Gallup Poll: “Open Borders will potentially attract 42 million Latin Americans.” This would be a disaster for the U.S. We need the Wall now!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 10, 2019
Then pointing the blame at Democrats...
I don’t think the Dems on the Border Committee are being allowed by their leaders to make a deal. They are offering very little money for the desperately needed Border Wall & now, out of the blue, want a cap on convicted violent felons to be held in detention!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 10, 2019
It was a very bad week for the Democrats, with the GREAT economic numbers, The Virginia disaster and the State of the Union address. Now, with the terrible offers being made by them to the Border Committee, I actually believe they want a Shutdown. They want a new subject!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 10, 2019