Published: Thu, January 03, 2019
Global Media | By Garry Long

Donald Trump says government shutdown could last 'a long time'

Donald Trump says government shutdown could last 'a long time'

"We are in a shutdown because Democrats refuse to fund border security", he said, accusing Democrats of playing politics on the issue because they have an eye on the 2020 presidential contest.

Instead, Democratic leaders reiterated their promise to support a bill funding most of the government through September while punting funding for the Department of Homeland Security forward a month - the exact proposal that the Senate unanimously passed in late December, before Trump pulled an about-face and forced a partial shutdown that's now in its 12th day. "They started off with $5.5 billion or else".

"I don't think any particular progress was made today, but we talked all aspects of it and it was a civil discussion", McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said on the Senate floor after the meeting.

The briefing is scheduled for 3 p.m. EST Wednesday, the day before Democrats assume control of the House. Some Republicans in the House may end up voting for the bill, and there's a possibility that if the shutdown drags on for long enough, Senate Republicans could pass the bill and both chambers could override Trump's veto. He would need to be convicted by two-thirds of USA senators - an unlikely prospect, unless members of his own Republican party turns on him.

Lending it an air of drama, Wednesday's briefing for congressional leaders is to take place in the White House Situation Room which is normally used for military updates. "We're asking the president to open up government". Funding for Trump's pet project, a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border, has been the sticking point in passing budgets.

Seven of the 21 Cabinet posts are held by acting or temporary officials, including acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.

Pelosi is expected to regain the gavel Thursday, securing the votes to become speaker even after some new and returning lawmakers signaled they wanted new leadership.

Trump warns US govt shutdown could last 'a long time'
Trump claims Mexico is paying for wall, demands taxpayer money...

Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, the incoming minority leader, panned the Democratic effort to reopen government without wall money.

On Tuesday morning, Mr Trump tweeted: "The Democrats, much as I suspected, have allocated no money for a new Wall. It is not helping the president it's not helping the Republicans to be the owners of this shutdown", Schumer said. "Whether you hate the president or love the president, border security goes hand in hand with national security, the safety of our communities and public safety".

But he seemed to shift tactics later in the day, appealing to Pelosi.

The standoff resulted in swathes of the federal government being shut down over the Christmas and New Year holidays - and for the foreseeable future until a deal is reached.

Speaking during the Cabinet meeting, Trump said he was sure the Supreme Court would side with him and that the administration would then be able to make a deal easily on the Dreamers and the wall.

Whether the Republican-led Senate would consider the Democratic funding bills - or if Trump would sign either into law - was unclear. That measure would provide money for the remainder of the fiscal year, until September 30.

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North Korea seemingly seeks to include China, one of its closest allies, in the talks for more leverage, experts have noted. It was not clear what "new path" the North Korean leader was referring to.

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