While Trump is clearly unwilling to negotiate with Democratic leaders on the shutdown, his Vice President Mike Pence thinks Democrats were “unwilling to even negotiate” an end to the partial government shutdown.
Top Democrats say President Donald Trump threw “a temper tantrum”, banged the table and stormed out of a meeting with congressional leaders as talks to end the partial government shutdown remain at an impasse.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said Trump asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at Wednesday’s White House meeting whether she would agree to fund his wall.
When she said “no,” Schumer says, Trump got up and said, “Then we have nothing to discuss.”
Schumer says, “And he just walked out.”
Schumer is calling Trump’s actions “really, really unfortunate.”
Trump is also weighing in on the meeting by tweet, calling it “a total waste of time.”
He tweets that once Pelosi rejected his long-stalled border wall, he “said bye-bye, nothing else works!”
While Trump is unwilling to negotiate with Democratic leaders his Vice President Mike Pence thinks Democrats were “unwilling to even negotiate” an end to the partial government shutdown and the standoff over Trump’s desire for a border barrier.
Pence spoke outside the West Wing after the contentious meeting saying that, “I think the president made his position very clear today that there will be no deal without a wall.”
Just left a meeting with Chuck and Nancy, a total waste of time. I asked what is going to happen in 30 days if I quickly open things up, are you going to approve Border Security which includes a Wall or Steel Barrier? Nancy said, NO. I said bye-bye, nothing else works!
Before the meeting
Congressional leaders from both parties have returned to the White House for another round of negotiations with Trump on the ongoing partial government shutdown.
The two sides have made no apparent progress in the past week, with Trump sticking to his demand of $5.7 billion for a border barrier and Democrats insisting they won’t give him the money.
Trump has been making a public case that there is a “crisis” at the southern border. And he’s still threatening to declare a national emergency to circumvent Congress if he can’t get the wall money from them.
He told reporters during a visit to the Capitol earlier Wednesday that he may turn to a declaration “at some point” if top Democrats Schumer and Pelosi “don’t agree” with his assessment about the problems at the border.
Trump says Republicans are “totally unified” in the shutdown standoff over his long-promised southern border wall, though some GOP lawmakers have been expressing concern about the 19-day partial government closure, which is the second longest ever.
TRT World spoke to journalist Harry Horton in Washington.
The battle of political bases
Trump thinks he has “tremendous” support from his base, so the shutdown could go on “whatever it takes.”
On the other hand, for Democrats, broad public skepticism about Trump’s case for the wall — combined with a driving push from the base to stand up to the president — has assured them they’re on solid ground in refusing to bend.
The dynamic has set the stage for what could be extended political gridlock with the economic livelihoods of some 800,000 federal workers in the balance. The looming question is whether the impact of the shutdown on government services and the plight of struggling federal workers force Republican lawmakers to break from the president or compel Democrats to budge.
Until now, the dispute has given both parties a fast first test in the politics of divided government as they try to trade blame, manage their messages and strike a balance between competing political wings.
Trump’s focus now is squarely on his conservative base and its support for the wall that came to symbolise Trump’s promise for a hard-line, unrelenting approach to immigration.
“He got elected because of that wall,” said Trump confidant Jerry Falwell Jr., president of the evangelical Liberty University. Falwell said he has told Trump he’s doing the right thing. “I don’t think it’ll help him at all if he backs down.”
But several Republican senators still thinks that the government should be re-opened while talks continue over border security and Trump’s demand for money to build the wall along the US-Mexico border.