Partial US Government Shutdown in 13th Day, with No End in Sight


As the government heads into its second week of this partial shutdown, the White House is refusing to budge on its request for $5 billion to secure the southern border, and Congressional Democrats are refusing to give Trump any money for a border wall.

The two-part Democratic package includes a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security at current levels through February 8, providing $1.3 billion for border fencing and $300 million for other border security items including technology and cameras. Democrats rejected the demand and parts of the federal government have been shut since December 22 because of lack of funding as a result.

Pelosi told reporters at the White House after the meeting that she plans to go ahead with the Democratic legislation on a spending bill without funding for a border wall. The Republicans hold a 53-47 edge in the upper chamber and 60 votes are needed to pass legtislation compared with a majority vote in the house.

The White House dismissed the Democrats' proposal.

The Democrats' package to end the shutdown would include one bill to temporarily fund Homeland Security at current levels.

She said it was an "open" legal discussion whether Trump could be indicted while still in office.

Following their inconclusive Situation Room meeting, Congressional leaders and Trump agreed to meet again on Friday. "It's so insignificant compared to what we're talking about".

The impasse will therefore continue, as Republicans still control the Senate and say they will not pass the funding bills without Mr Trump's approval.

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Pelosi accused Trump of holding the federal government hostage over his campaign promise to build the wall that Mexico would pay for.

Representatives from the House, including House Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.; House Democratic leader-designate Steny Hoyer of Maryland; House Republican leader-designate Kevin McCarthy of California; and House Republican Whip-designate Steve Scalise of Louisiana; along with Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer of New York; Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky; Senate Republican Whip-designate John Thune of South Dakota; and Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin of IL met with Trump.

While Pelosi says she knew this moment would arrive, it wasn't guaranteed.

The negotiations on a deal to open the government have sat frozen for days, according to people involved, as lawmakers in the House and Senate have deserted the Capitol for the holidays and, with no votes scheduled, likely won't return until the start of the next Congress. "We want to solve that issue", McCarthy said.

About a quarter of US government agencies remained closed, with uncollected trash piling up at some national parks and 800,000 federal workers either furloughed or working without pay until the standoff is resolved.

They will have that opportunity, as congressional panels will be led by chairmen who have pledged to probe topics such as Trump's income taxes, his firing of attorney general Jeff Sessions, and the president's ties to Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

He anticipates Republicans, Democrats and the White House will have to compromise to end the partial shutdown. One hundred House freshmen will take the oath of office, including New York's Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who at 29 is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.

In an interview with Fox News on Monday, Trump said that he was ready to end the shutdown.