Donald Trump meeting congressional leaders as US Government shutdown continues


The White House is calling the Democratic plan a "non-starter", saying it fails to secure the border and puts the needs of other countries above the needs of its own citizens. "We know that we have a challenge along the border".

The high-stakes meeting comes just hours before Democrats retake control of the House of Representatives, when House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is widely expected to become the next Speaker of the House.

Roughly a quarter of the federal government and 800,000 federal employees are affected by a shutdown, which was caused by a lapse in funding for the agencies.

Led by Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi, Democrats will pounce on Day 1, moving legislation to end a partial government shutdown, and a separate measure to protect insurance coverage for people with pre-existing medical conditions.

The partial government shutdown began on December 22 after Trump refused to sign a budget deal that didn't include billions of dollars for his long-promised and long-stalled southern border wall.

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Democrats say the border wall, one of Trump's key campaign promises, is a distraction from more complicated immigration problems and a tool for the president to whip up support among his conservative base. Congress and the president are at an impasse over funding for Trump's pet project, a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border. Then, he said, "we will turn our attention to bringing our democracy to life and returning our government to the people".

Schumer said Trump could not provide a "good answer" for opposing the bills.

He described border officials as "very tough" at keeping immigrants out.

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".

As the partial shutdown entered its 12th day on Wednesday, hundreds of thousands of government workers remained home on furlough, while hundreds of thousands of others deemed "essential" were reporting to work but without any certainty of getting paid. His demand infuriated many Republicans who had been working to avoid a shutdown, but most have followed his lead and are insisting Democrats broker some sort of compromise. "Once the secretary [of Homeland Security] started, Senator [Chuck] Schumer interrupted her, and they really didn't want to hear it". Trump could actually make this worse by offering something like a DACA deal and daring Democrats to reject it.

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Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes said Javid was leaving his family holiday early to address the increase in crossings. Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has said the UK's armed forces "stand ready" if needed to prevent further crossings.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham urged the president to try and use this fight to tackle even more than the border issues.

The top Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate emerged from the White House talks giving no indication they've changed their positions on Trump's demand for $5 billion to fund a border wall.

The former Navy SEAL said because of his experience, he doesn't understand why Democrats say a wall doesn't work or it's medieval thinking. It would provide money through the remainder of the fiscal year, to September 30.

House Democrats plan to pass legislation aimed at quickly ending the shutdown - but without offering the $5 billion Trump wants for his wall - as soon as they assume control Thursday afternoon. "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".

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