President Trump is still at the White House—as he was over Christmas and New Years—and is waiting for Democrats to send him a bill which would fund the government and includes $5 billion in border wall funding.
Twelve days ago, Republican majorities in both chambers of Congress were unable to give Trump a bill to fund the government, forcing a shutdown. This was largely due to Republican Senators’ inability to clear a procedural hurdle (which required 60 votes in the affirmative).
Following a meeting at the White House, President Trump said he did not have a timetable on when the government would be reopened. He did say that border security was “too important a subject” to not get funded amid this shutdown.
“It could be a long time and it could end quickly,” President Trump said when he was asked about the shutdown and how long it would proceed, ABC News reports.
“It could be a long time, it’s too important a subject to walk away from,” the president continued. “I was here on Christmas evening. I was all by myself in the White House. It’s a big, big house.”
As ABC News reports, congressional leaders met with Homeland Security administrators and President Trump in the White House on Wednesday. The meeting did not reach any solution that the parties could agree on, with Pelosi reportedly cutting off Homeland Security Kirstjen Neilsen—who was videoconferenced into the meeting.
“No resolution to the government shutdown or the current stalemate over border funding emerged from a bipartisan meeting Wednesday at the White House with the president and Department of Homeland Security officials,” ABC reports. “Democratic and Republican lawmakers gathered in the Situation Room for a briefing on border security – but that briefing was cut short over disagreements on border funding.”
Democrats said they aren’t budging, and dared Trump to reopen the government while the debate over border funding continues. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. said they plan on moving forward Thursday with votes on two bills to reopen the government that were once backed by Republican Senators.
Republicans in the meeting said that the lawmakers agreed to meet on Friday to continue the conversations. But, it did not seem to be a promising start.
“Minutes after the meeting began, the Trump administration’s attempt to lecture Democrats on border security issues dissolved into a raucous finger-pointing match that made clear that a partial shutdown would drag into a third weekend,” Politico reported.
As it stands, Trump wants $5 billion for the construction of the border wall before he agrees to reopen the government. Democrats previously offered $1.3 billion for border security measures, not specifically the border wall. Pelosi has since said she will concede “nothing for the wall.”