Both Sides Find Compromise Hard on the Government Shutdown

Trump Calls Out Dems for Blocking Judicial Nominations

"Somebody said US$2.5. No, look, this is national security we're talking about", Trump said during the first Cabinet meeting of the year, a lengthy televised event that became a forum for the President to air thoughts and grievances on a number of topics.

President Donald Trump invited Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress to the White House on Wednesday for a border security briefing on the 12th day of a partial federal government shutdown triggered by the Republican president's demand for $5 billion in border wall funding.

Trump said Wednesday that it could be a "long time" before the closed government agencies are reopened.

Nancy Pelosi has said that the new Democratic House will approve its own plan to end the shutdown-a plan Trump's White House has already deemed a "non-starter".

Aides suggested there would not necessarily be a traditional wall as Mr Trump has repeatedly insisted since his presidential campaign, but he contradicted them.

The White House dismissed the Democrats' proposal. "Democrats intend to do that today", Justin Goodman, spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer said. Funding for the wall has been the sticking point in passing funding bills for several government departments. The meeting is taking place one day before Democrats retake control of the House at noon on Thursday, heralding a massive power shift in Washington after two years of unified Republican control. Pres. Trump made it clear that he was standing by his request for $5.6 Billion for border wall funding calling it a small price to pay to keep the country safe.

"Our first order of business will be to end the reckless Trump shutdown and reopen the government", Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of NY, the incoming caucus chairman, said in an interview.

The Democratic package to end the shutdown would include one bill to temporarily fund the Department of Homeland Security at current levels - with $1.3 billion for border security, far less than Trump has said he wants for the wall - through February 8 as talks continued.

"And we should just take one moment to exhale and just say we should be proud of ourselves because we have a beautiful-looking Congress", the filmmaker added.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers after the meeting indicated little progress was made toward ending the partial government shutdown and that they agreed to reconvene Friday. Unlike his sit-down with Pelosi and Schumer in December, which was in the Oval Office and devolved into tense bickering on camera, this meeting will be held in the Situation Room, which is typically reserved for national security issues and doesn't allow press inside. "If you build a 30-foot wall from El Paso to Brownsville, the 35-foot ladder business gets real good". "Our goal is to treat Climate Change like the serious, existential threat it is by drafting an ambitious solution on the scale necessary - aka a Green New Deal - to get it done". Major agencies like the Pentagon and the Health and Human Services Department have already been funded through the end of the fiscal year September 30, thanks to spending bills passed by Congress earlier in the year and signed by Trump.

And there were growing signs that members of the Republican Party did not support Trump's approach.

The current shutdown is the longest since a 16-day partial shutdown in 2013 over the Affordable Care Act.



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