Trump Rejects Shutdown Compromise Proposed by Pence Before Meeting with Democrats

03 January, 2019, 03:55 | Author: Donnie King
  • CRITICAL SITUATION: Trump Summons Leaders to Situation Room for Budget Showdown

Congressional leaders arrived at the White House on Wednesday for a briefing in which President Donald Trump and homeland security officials will press their case for a border wall as he held fast to his demand for $5 billion in wall funding that triggered a partial government shutdown now in its 12th day.

The White House visit by Pelosi and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer was their first since their televised showdown with Trump in the Oval Office last month.

Before and after the meeting, there was little talk of compromise as Trump and Democrats battled over his demand for border-wall funding, all but assuring the shutdown will barrel into a third week. NBC's Savannah Guthrie asked Pelosi in an interview slated to air in full Thursday.

The last time Schumer and Pelosi met Trump at the White House, on December 11, it turned into a freakish televised squabble during which Trump claimed he would be "proud" to shut down the government over the wall, and insisted he would take ownership of any shutdown. "No. Look, this is national security we're talking about".

"We spend in Afghanistan more in one month than what we're talking about for the wall", Trump added. "Nothing for the wall".

Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced the Democrats' plans to bring forward legislation on Thursday to reopen the federal government.

The House passed a version of an appropriations bill before the partial shutdown with $5.6 billion for wall construction and that included funding for a variety of agencies and departments, including Homeland Security, NASA, and the IRS.

In a tweet Wednesday morning, Trump claimed, falsely, that Mexico was already paying for a border wall, thanks to a newly renegotiated trade deal, and that the wall was already largely done but he needed billions of dollars anyway.

Maybe in a week or less, Trump will get blamed and take a hit, but if this goes on until February, at some point the public is going to express its displeasure with everyone involved including Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. "Just the first sign of things to come in our new Democratic Majority committed to working #ForThePeople".

But Trump also rejected his own administration's offer to accept $2.5 billion for the wall.

Trump complained that he had been "lonely" at the White House during the holiday break, having skipped his getaway to Mar-a-Lago in Florida. He offered no clues on when the government will reopen. The White House has called such a legislative package a "non-starter". The trade deal has not been approved by Congress, and even if it is approved, there are no provisions in it that create new funding for a wall on the US border. Since becoming president, though, he has shifted this promise, saying the money must come from USA taxpayers.

He has since blamed Democrats for the shutdown.

Democrats have signaled a willingness to approve $1.3 billion in funds for border security in an extension of existing spending levels, a portion of which can be used to replace and fix existing sections of wall and fencing. "He could not give a good answer", Schumer said. "And I think at the end of the day, the president, listening to him, he wants to solve this as well", McCarthy said. That measure would provide money through the remainder of the fiscal year, to September 30.

Pence proposed a compromise nearly two weeks ago in a closed-door meeting with Democrats just hours before a shutdown of parts of government that lacked appropriations for the current fiscal year.



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