President Trump on Saturday said he was in the White House waiting for Democrats to come to the table to negotiate funding for a wall on the southern border as a way to end the partial government shutdown — an impasse now entering its second week.
“I am in the White House waiting for the Democrats to come on over and make a deal on Border Security. From what I hear, they are spending so much time on Presidential Harassment that they have little time left for things like stopping crime and our military!” he said in a tweet.
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The partial shutdown began last Saturday at midnight after Republicans and Democrats were unable to agree on a funding package that would keep the government open and fund Trump’s border wall. Trump had demanded approximately $5 billion in funding for the wall, but Democrats have so far refused to go above $1.3 billion for more general border security.
While the shutdown is a week in, there are no signs of it ending any time soon. Congress is out of session until January 3, the start of the new Congress, and lawmakers are expected to meet in brief sessions with no resolution for the shutdown.
One member of the House Republican leadership told Fox News on Thursday that a resolution may not emerge until the new year.
But the New Year may also bring some movement as that’s when people off for the holidays start to pay attention to the news, and when the pain of the shutdown starts to escalate.
There could be protests in the hall and the mood could change in D.C. — which in turn could help force a resolution.
Democrats are likely to move a bill to fund the government late next week, while Republicans will take up Trump’s argument that Democrats are weak on border security and make incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., the issue.
Trump, meanwhile, has been hardening his rhetoric and on Saturday said that Democrats have given the Republicans none of the votes they need in the Senate to provide for border security.
“Now we have to do it the hard way, with a Shutdown,” he tweeted. Too bad!
Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s incoming acting chief of staff, claimed Friday on “Fox & Friends” that it appeared Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer is interested in a deal but Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi is preventing it. He alleged Democrats are not dealing because Pelosi is waiting until she secures the speakership.
TRUMP THREATENS TO CLOSE BORDER, TERMINATE TRADE DEALS, CUT AID UNLESS WALL IS FUNDED
“We don’t think they will [negotiate] until after the new Congress is sworn in,” he said.
But Pelosi has denied claims they haven’t provided a counteroffer.
"Democrats have offered Republicans three options to re-open government that all include funding for strong, sensible, and effective border security – but not the President’s immoral, ineffective and expensive wall," said Drew Hammill, Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff. "With the House Majority, Democrats will act swiftly to end the Trump Shutdown, and will fight for a strategic, robust national security policy, including strong and smart border security, and strong support for our servicemembers and veterans."
Fox News’ Chad Pergram and The Associated Press contributed to this report.