Published: Mon, January 07, 2019
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

Trump says he needs to deal with Dem leaders to end shutdown

Trump says he needs to deal with Dem leaders to end shutdown

Mick Mulvaney, Trump's acting chief of staff, told NBC's " Meet the Press" that agreeing to a steel barrier would allow Democrats to stick to their refusal to fund a wall.

Trump asserted on Friday that he could declare a national emergency to build the wall without congressional approval, but would first try a "negotiated process".

Democrats have insisted that Trump support reopening the government while the negotiations on the border wall continue, and while they've supported funding for border security, they have opposed money for the US-Mexico border wall that was Trump's signature campaign promise. Pelosi has said she will not budge on her position against it, calling the wall immoral. "And when we go to the table to speak to him that we're respectful of the branch that he represents, the office of the president, and we want him to be respectful of the branch of government we represent, co-equal".

Sunday is the 16th day of the ongoing partial government shutdown, which has affected nine cabinet-level departments and dozens of agencies as well as the jobs and paychecks of some 800,000 federal employees. 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.

"Mr. President, can you relate to the pain of federal workers who can't pay their bills?" the journalist asked Trump as he stood outside the White House.

Despite Trump's assertions, Yale law professor Bruce Ackerman argued in a New York Times' op-ed Saturday that declaring a national emergency to use military funds for the wall would be illegal and any service members involved would be "committing a federal crime".

President Trump tweeted yesterday that there had been "not much headway" in negotiations.

"I may decide a national emergency depending on what happens over the next few days", Trump told reporters at the White House before leaving for Camp David, a presidential retreat in the state of Maryland, for meetings with senior White House staff on border security and other issues.

Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff called it a "non-starter".

A go-fund-me campaign reported earlier this week that almost $20 million has been collected from private donors for a wall, far short of the $5.6 billion demanded by the president. Such a move would seem certain to draw legal challenges.

The president has already suggested his definition of the wall is flexible, referring to slats and other "border things". A day earlier, the president had tweeted that he didn't care that "most of the workers not getting paid are Democrats". The White House said money was not discussed in depth, but the administration was clear about the need for a wall and the goal of resolving the shutdown all at once, not piecemeal.

House Democrats passed two bills Thursday night that would separate out Department of Homeland Security funding so that every other impacted government agency would have funding through the fiscal year. "He's not building a wall anymore, ' that should help us move in the right direction", Mulvaney said.

Trump said that he would consider a deal that involved protections for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program recipients, but indicated that he preferred to wait until the Supreme Court ruled on the issue.

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