Published: Thu, January 03, 2019
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Trump warns US shutdown could last a ‘long time’

Trump warns US shutdown could last a ‘long time’

Addressing a cabinet meeting on the 12th day of the partial shutdown, Mr Trump warned it "could be a long time" before the impasse is resolved.

"Walls work", Trump said at a Cabinet meeting, with a poster of himself lying on the table in front of him.

The president's obstinance has also put his fellow Republicans in a tough spot, because they have also spent the last two years appeasing the base by stumping for this element of his agenda.

The distance between the two sides seems to be growing, as Trump reneged on a deal Vice President Mike Pence offered last week that would have delivered $2.5 billion for the wall, instead of the $5.6 billion Trump wants.

The new Congress will gavel into session on Thursday, with Democrats taking over the majority in the House of Representatives.

Today marks the last day of the Trump-Ryan-McConnell era of unified Republican government in Washington, which, despite the huge political power wielded by three men between whom there exists near-perfect ideological alignment, will still conclude in the midst of a two-week government shutdown of their own creation.

Democratic aides downplayed expectations for the 3 p.m. encounter at the White House, saying that since it was being billed by the White House as a "briefing" and not a meeting they were prepared for a one-sided and non-factual presentation.

The White House invitation came after House Democrats released their plan to re-open the government without approving money for a border wall.

Explaining how a wall on the U.S. -Mexico border can be helpful in deterring illegal immigration, incoming Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) said Navy SEALs have to take walls into account and work around them when planning to infiltrate a structure.

Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump told voters that drugs, criminals, and terrorists were flooding into the USA across the Mexico border.

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

Despite the far-reaching impacts of the shutdown, much of the federal government has not been touched. The departing House speaker, Paul Ryan, was not expected.

"We are giving the Republicans the opportunity to take yes for an answer", she wrote in a letter to colleagues.

Rick Perry, the energy secretary and former Texas governor, voiced his approval of the president's push for a border wall - an idea that he had mocked while running for president.

Pelosi reportedly plans to pass a bill in the House that would fund the government for a month and include no funding whatsoever for the border wall, but both Trump and the Republican leadership in the Senate have said that such a bill would be dead on arrival.

Back in 2011, stumping in New Hampshire for president, Perry rejected that approach: "I don't support a fence on the border". He tweeted: "Let's make a deal?"

Whether the Republican-led Senate would consider the Democratic funding bills - or if Trump would sign either into law - was unclear. He's invited Democratic and Republican congressional leaders to a White House meeting Wednesday on border security.

It would also include another measure to fund the departments of Agriculture, Interior, Housing and Urban Development and others closed by the partial shutdown. It would provide money through the remainder of the fiscal year, to September 30.

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