Trump warns USA govt shutdown could last 'a long time'

Larry Hoffman
January 3, 2019

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. "They try and make it like it's just about the wall and it is about the wall".

But divisions remain, rearing up even before the newly elected members are sworn into office, as many are eager for change and ready to confront Trump. "Look around tomorrow. It will be a whole new America", Alexandra Pelosi said. One measure would open most of the shuttered government departments at funding levels already agreed to by all sides. Because, think about it. Think about all those presidents she's endured, right? "He could not give a good answer". But every proposal the White House and Republicans have sought to construct the wall has relied on federal money, and they have not offered any scenario that would see that money repaid by the Mexican government.

House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy said there's no need to prolong the shutdown and he was disappointed the talks did not produce a resolution.

"She'll cut your head off and you won't even know you're bleeding", Pelosi said about her mother.

Democrats prepared for the White House gathering by saying they had no plans to be lectured with inaccurate information and would continue to challenge the President. Democrats believe pressure will mount on Republicans as the shutdown drags on, the aide said. Instead, Trump repeatedly pushed for the $5.6 billion he has demanded.

Trump's comments came at what was billed as the first Cabinet meeting of 2019.

The commander in chief also lamented spending Christmas alone in the White House while his family celebrated the holidays at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

For Democrats, that means they will not put anything on the table beyond the current $1.3 billion for border security. He also criticized Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader, for visiting Hawaii.

"We are hopeful that somehow in the coming days or weeks we will be able to reach an agreement", he added.

Pelosi replied later that day, blaming Trump for the "irresponsible" shutdown. He promised "six more years of great success".

But first, they'll have to get government reopened from the partial shutdown. Funding for Trump's pet project, a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border, has been the sticking point in passing budgets.

Emerging from the nearly 90-minute gathering, Pelosi, who is expected to take over as House Speaker, said Democrats would take action to "open up government" tomorrow by bringing to the floor "legislation based on actions taken by the Republican Senate". "We are giving him a Republican path to do that".

But the Republican-led Senate appears unlikely to consider the Democratic funding bills. McConnell spokesman Donald Stewart said Senate Republicans would not take action without Trump's backing.

Trump said the shutdown affecting about a quarter of the federal government and 800,000 federal workers would last for "as long as it takes" as he pushes lawmakers for money for a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border as part of any legislation to reopen agencies shuttered when their funding lapsed on December 22. That was 30 years ago ...

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