Congress, President Trump, White House discussed on Morning Edition
It's morning edition from NPR news. I'm Steve Inskeep. And I'm Rachel Martin news at the US Mexico. Border underlines the stakes of border security. Authorities say they made the largest seizure in US history of shipment of sentinel. That's an opioid blamed for many overdose deaths. But the drugs were found in a truck crossing at a legal port of entry. That's how most drugs are set to cross the border, meaning President Trump's proposed border wall would not have stopped this shipment. From coming in this case, illustrates, the conflict of reporter security, Republican and democratic lawmakers say they can agree on measures. Like better technology at ports of entry. It is not clear they can satisfy the president's demand to pay for a wall that he wants promised Mexico would pay for the president is hinting that if congress doesn't give him money for the wall he will declare a state of emergency and take it. So what can lawmakers do? I asked Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio. Do you absolutely need President Trump? To support a compromise. Or can you secure veto proof majority that would make that unnecessary in case? He changes his mind. Well, is you know, what the White House is saying is that they're likely to invoke in actual emergency power to be able to provide funding for dirt preferred approach to the border security issues rather than going into a down. So I think that's probably more likely now, and there are three issues come up one is would the courts enjoying such a invocation of presidential power. In other words, would there be lawsuit and being junction, and therefore the money would go to the border, but it'd be tied up in the court. I think that's likely from what I know of of the way people who have standing including folks along the border, including Democrats from the house as an example, it does involve the spending somewhere else. So one of the likely avenues would be military construction projects that congress has already approved. It would have to be delayed or ended because we need to be funding taken from them. And then they're just the issue of congressional power versus presidential powers, and this really a role for congress. So we'd have to go through all those things. I don't know how that that comes out. But Rachel, frankly, I don't see a shutdown is likely and what I hear you saying is you'd like to avoid a national emergency declaration by think far preferable, let's roll up our sleeves and do the work close. These gaps between us on the border, both literally and figuratively. We're not that far apart. Just a question of what kind of structures and where they go. Meanwhile, some federal workers who had been furloughed are still waiting for their back pay pay. They were denied during shutdown. Many contractors aren't gonna be paid at all you have now introduced a Bill to prevent this from happening again, you think that's really necessary. Yeah. I think so downs are stupid. I felt so for a long time is, you know, this time introduce legislation which is called government shutdowns, very creative title. It basically says that when you get to the end of an appropriations Bill, you don't shut down the government. But instead you continue the funding from the preview. This year. I said, well that's bad because you want congress to appropriate. I agree with that. Totally. That's why in our legislation after four months. There is a one percent across the board cut in spending. And that will encourage congress to do its work. Do you think after five times of proposing the same legislation? This moment is different. I do. I mean, look, I've talked to Republicans and Democrats alike. It's really not helping anybody and for those who are more interested in doing the size and scope of government. That's not what happens when these after the taxpayer in my experience having lived through about sixty shutdowns now end up paying more. Because again, you come back after the fact and people often paying people for services that were not provided. So it's a hardship that employs and their families. It's hardship for a lot of small businesses that can't get paid for the government work and hardship for taxpayers weren't getting their services. Can I ask though, Senator you understand the raw politics though of this? And what do you say to Republicans, even some Democrats who argue that passing a Bill like the one you're suggesting removes important leverage in spending. Again, I've been through a few of them, and I've seen what happens in a lot of people go into thinking it's going to provide great leverage. I don't think it does. I don't think Chuck Schumer leaves that when he got confused with having the humor shutdown years ago, which was when he blocked continue resolution on behalf of a specific issue. I don't think the many Republicans Sita's leverage now, I haven't just gone through this last thirty five days and seeing the response and reaction from the American people in from the other parties Senator Rob Portman a Republican of Ohio speaking to us yesterday. I wanna bring an NPR White House. Correspondent Scott Horsely? Scott Senator Portman wants to pass this Bill to make sure government shutdowns don't happen again. But that's exactly what's going to happen. If congress doesn't come up with a deal has the president already made up his mind that he's going to declare a national emergency. Or is this just more posturing? That's a very good question. Rachel, you know, the the president gave an interview to the New York Times yesterday in which he seemed to suggest that he is leaning towards declaring a national emergency. But you have to take that with a big grain of salt. Because of course, he's been hinting at that ever since this standoff began, and he hasn't pulled the trigger yet the the White House like Senator Portman knows that a national emergency would invite an immediate legal challenge. There would be opposition from some members of the president's own party both on sort of constitutional and economic grounds. So it's not entirely clear the president's going to do that. And even talking about using a national emergency sort of undercuts the bargaining position of the Republicans on that conference committee. So it's a it's an interesting stance for the president to be taking the Senator Portman used to be a White House budget director. So he knows about the cost of shutdowns not only from a political point of view of a of a lawmaker. But the budget director is the guy who can ask the manager shut down in the White House. So he he certainly familiar with the cost of that Indus. Well, just briefly as Portland rain have Democrats and Republicans all along been closer than the rhetoric indicates? Sure, this is a, you know, this has been a political point for the White House that that there was a deal in congress before this shutdown began and pure White House. Correspondent Scott Horsely? Thanks. You're welcome. Some other news now many citizens of Nicaragua face a choice flee the country or face evermore peril. They're under pressure as President Daniel Ortega cracks down on his opposition. He's shutting down human rights groups jailing journalists and charging protesters under anti-terrorism laws. NPR's Carrie Kahn spoke with Nicaraguans deciding what to do now blanket guy stands at the production room floor family's factory just outside. Granada a colonial town popular tourists in.