‘Could be a while’: Trump refuses to budge in shutdown standoff


‘Could be a while’: Trump refuses to budge in shutdown standoff

On Tuesday morning, after tweeting a New Year's message to "EVERYONE INCLUDING THE HATERS AND THE FAKE NEWS MEDIA", Trump tweeted: "The Democrats, much as I suspected, have allocated no money for a new Wall".

Democrats take charge of the House of Representatives from Trump's fellow Republicans when the new 2019-2020 Congress convenes on Thursday.

The session will be held in the high-security Situation Room at the White House, which is typically used to handle sensitive information. Funding for the wall has been the sticking point in passing funding bills for several government departments.

"The United States needs a physical barrier", Trump said at a Cabinet meeting at the White House on Wednesday, previewing a briefing with Congressional leaders scheduled for later in the day. But the new majority will quickly pivot Thursday to a pair of bills to fund the parts of the government that have been shuttered in the dispute over money for President Donald Trump's border wall with Mexico. Whether or not Republicans choose to challenge Trump will matter greatly, but the main event will play out on the Democratic side, where dozens of candidates are lining up to compete.

Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, the incoming minority leader, panned the Democratic effort to reopen government without wall money.

Pelosi and Schumer, citing the bipartisan nature of the full-year funding measures and the unanimous Senate support before the partial shutdown of a stopgap bill to fund the government to February 8, attempted to ramp up the rhetorical pressure on Republicans in advance of the House votes. The departing House speaker, Paul Ryan, was not expected.

He also parried complaints from Democrats who've called the wall immoral by remarking, "Then we have to do something about the Vatican, because the Vatican has the biggest wall of them all".

The visit by Pelosi and Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer was their first to the White House since their sharp exchange with Trump in the Oval Office on December 11 during which the president told them he would be "proud to shut down the government for border security".

"We are giving the Republicans the opportunity to take yes for an answer", she wrote in a letter to colleagues. "Our question to the president and to the Republicans is why don't you accept what you have already done to open up government?"

They're set to approve a rules package on Thursday that sets a new tone for governing.

Trump's statement on crossings contradicts the Department of Homeland Security. "We have to have border security and the wall is a big part of border security, the biggest part".

A Democratic-led House will undoubtedly slow Trump's legislative agenda.

Those committees will launch a litany of probes into the president, his family, and his businesses, including demanding Mr Trump's tax returns.

But he seemed to shift tactics later in the day, appealing to Pelosi.

That would make it possible for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to send Trump a bill to reopen most of the government, while setting aside the fight over the wall.

For the White House, the final position is more ambiguous: Vice President Mike Pence put a proposal for $2.5 billion for a combination border security and immigration priority funding on the table last week, but was rebuffed by Schumer. It would provide money through the remainder of the fiscal year, to September 30.

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