Ten Republican and 10 Democratic senators have formed a new bipartisan “gang” in an attempt to find a solution to the dispute over border wall funding that has caused the longest government shutdown in history, Texas Sen. John Cornyn told the Washington Examiner on Tuesday
Cornyn is not a member of the group but is part of the Republican leadership team and has been briefed on the negotiations so far.
He stressed that he is “glad they are talking,” but said there has been “no real progress yet, other than talking.”
North Carolina GOP Sen. Thom Tillis confirmed that he is a member of the gang, but refused to give any other details other than to say that the discussions are bipartisan.
“We are just trying to get the members to talk about a way we can work out of it,” Tillis told the Examiner. “It's good that we’ve got Democrats and Republicans in the room. The real question is, can we come up with something that makes progress on border security funding and things that are priorities for my Democratic colleagues.”
The group began meeting on Monday as the government shutdown entered its fourth week. The partial closure has left some 800,000 federal workers without pay.
Tillis and Cornyn said that the only way to get the president to sign a spending bill to end the shutdown is to first secure an agreement that trades off border security and a wall for something the Democrats want, such as legalizing Dreamers.
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