Published: Tue, January 08, 2019
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Trump says 'not much headway' in talks to end United States government shutdown

Trump says 'not much headway' in talks to end United States government shutdown

In a bid to force Democrats' hand, Trump has said that he is considering declaring an emergency to begin wall construction without congressional approval.

Trump insists to reporters as he departs the White House for staff meetings at Camp David that he feels the pain of hundreds of thousands of federal workers who aren't being paid.

Trump's allies say he is simply keeping a longstanding campaign promise and they frame his focus on his base as a smart strategy, since he will need to energize those supporters for his re-election campaign.

On Monday, the partial government shutdown entered its 17 day, securing a place in the top three longest government shutdowns in United States history.

The visit comes amid the continuing partial government shutdown and the President's insistence that any funding bill to reopen federal agencies include US$5.7 billion for his border wall.

Democratic leaders - like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) - have taken a wait-and-see approach to questions about impeachment, while more outspoken, progressive members of the caucus - such as Rep. Rashida Tlaib - have vowed to bring a premature end to the Trump presidency.

Trump has demanded $5.6 billion (5 billion euros) for the wall, which he says is needed to stem the flow of illegal immigrants and drugs into the US.

She argued that the American people want the president and both parties to work together to solve the many problems that are facing the nation.

But two Democrats familiar with the meeting gave a different take, saying the White House had not provided the budget details they had requested and again declined to re-open government.

Press secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump would "meet with those on the frontlines of the national security and humanitarian crisis" along the 3,200-kilometer southern USA border. If we give him the time, he'll deliver a fact-free screed without rebuttal.

However, the interviewer immediately called her out, citing the government's own information that none of those individuals arrived across the southern border.

Trump is willing to rule out concrete for the wall if that helps reach a deal with Democrats, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said in an interview taped on Saturday.

The aide said Democrats did not come back with a "reasonable" counteroffer to the administration's requests.

He said he planned to call the heads of American steel companies in hopes of coming up with a new design for the barrier he contends must be built along the southern border.

"Emergency powers are meant to be used for emergencies, not to settle political disputes or to shortcut the political process", Goitein said.

"This shutdown could end tomorrow and it could also go on for a long time", Trump said. "But primarily it's been done to build facilities in Afghanistan and Iraq", Smith said on ABC's "This Week".

Republican Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama said on Fox News that Trump has some "inherent powers" to bypass Congress, but that border funding must be done the right way, via legislation.

With his negotiators preparing for the afternoon session, Trump said he didn't expect it to produce a resolution.

"If Harry Truman couldn't nationalize the steel industry during wartime, this president doesn't have the power to declare an emergency and build a multibillion-dollar wall on the border".

Democrats and Republicans have been continuing to meet for negotiations as the shutdown drags on, but it seems these talks haven't led to any real progress.

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