“I don’t think it will last months but I am prepared.”
Friday, President Trump confirmed shutdown negotiations would head into the weekend. House Democrats passed a funding resolution that the Senate has yet to take up.
Trump is unwilling to budge until funding for a southern border wall is part of the deal and Democrats refuse to write in funding for a southern border wall.
After a meeting with the president Friday, ranking Democrats claimed Trump was threatening a long shutdown unless they gave him his border wall, an accusation Trump owned in a press conference later in the day. Trump called the meeting contentious but productive.
The highlights from USA Today:
Trump acknowledged saying that the shutdown could last months or years. “Absolutely I said that,” he told reporters. He also said he hoped the matter would be resolved soon after more negotiations over the weekend, although it was not clear whether he had offered Democrats any new proposals.
“I don’t think it will” last months, he said of the shutdown, “but I am prepared.”
Democratic leaders struck a more pessimistic note, saying Trump refused to consider a plan to re-open the government now while negotiations continue.
“He resisted,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. “In fact, he said he’d keep the government closed for a very long period of time – months or even years.”
New House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Democrats “are committed to keeping our border safe,” and “we can do that best when government is open.”
Nevertheless, Trump insisted the meeting with Democrats was “productive” and said the parties agreed to create teams of negotiators who will meet over the weekend to discuss a deal to re-open the government and provide for border security, including a wall.
Whether he’s trolling or serious is unclear, but Trump told reporters he’s toying with declaring a state of emergency, which would allow him access to DOD funds with which he could begin construction his big, beautiful wall. USA Today ctd:
Taking questions from reporters, Trump also said he is considering declaring a “national emergency” over the money, a move that would theoretically allow him to use Department of Defense money to begin construction of a border wall.
“Absolutely … we can do it,” he said.
During the lengthy news conference, Trump also:
– Talked about using what he called “the military version of eminent domain” to seize private land for border wall construction. Conservative Republicans have long criticized the government’s use of eminent domain, and backed high-profile lawsuits to restrict its use.
– Said he would consider asking Vice President Mike Pence and other executive branch officials to forgo planned pay raises while the shutdown is in place.
Trump maintained that he wants $5.6 billion for border security and wall funding, and dismissed proposed compromises ranging from $1.3 billion to $2.5 billion.
A portion of Trump’s press conference is here:
Pelosi, agitated about The Wall is here:
Police officer Ronil Singh was shot and killed by an illegal immigrant gang member in Nancy Pelosi's home state last week, but that's not what has her outraged… pic.twitter.com/p1Q2RDOTOq
— U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (@SenBillCassidy) January 4, 2019
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