Wall prototypes sit on the US-Mexico border

27 December, 2018, 08:09 | Author: Corey Lynch
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"I can't tell you when the government is going to be open", the Republican president told reporters at the White House after his annual Christmas teleconference with USA troops.

Trump has made securing the southern border a focal point of his presidency, with plans to beef up border security and create a wall as key components.

The president spoke to reporters after calling the troops from the White House on Christmas Day.

"I can't tell you when the government is going to reopen", Trump said, speaking after a Christmas Day video conference with USA troops serving overseas.

Most of the federal government, which directly employs nearly 4 million people, is unaffected. "I'm not going to talk about it now", he said. "I want the shutdown to end as soon as possible, but how I want it to end is for Congress to do their job and pass this bill because we need better border security".

He also said his goal is to have 500 to 550 miles of border wall built by election time 2020.

Republican Mark Meadows, a conservative leader in the House who met with Trump on Saturday, said the president has encouraged congressional Republicans to negotiate with Democrats on "finding some kind of path forward".




"Democrats can come out and say they supported billions for fencing, but when push comes to shove, and this is something that will get passed into law, they suddenly back off", Chmielenski said.

Trump didn't say how he's hearing from federal workers, excluding those he appointed to their jobs or who work with him in the White House. After a weekend and two holiday days for federal employees, Wednesday was the first regularly scheduled workday affected by the shutdown.

Fox News anchor Julie Banderas kicked it off: "If the Republicans don't give what the Democrats want, the shutdown is going to continued until January, then the Democrats take over, then Republicans have no chance of getting the border wall". During prior shutdowns, lawmakers generally have voted to retroactively pay all employees - those who worked and those who were furloughed - after the government re-opens. Roughly 420,000 workers were deemed essential and are working unpaid, while 380,000 were furloughed.

Translation: Democrats prefer a government shutdown to giving Trump one dime for his bloody border wall.

Donald Trump marked December 25 by going on TV to issue a rambling, vitriolic rant aimed at fired former FBI Director James Comey and the Democrats.

"I do find the president's comments in that regard a little bit ridiculous", adds Erwin, whose organization represents more than 110,000 federal workers across the United States, in departments ranging from the Social Security Administration to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to the U.S. Department of Defense. After Mexico repeatedly refused to do so, he began seeking USA taxpayer funding for the wall, which he sees as vital to controlling illegal immigration.

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