Productive Or Contentious? Trump And Democrats Diverge On Shutdown Meeting< < Back to
Updated at 2:35 p.m. ET
President Trump and congressional leaders met at the White House Friday in what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called a “lengthy and sometimes contentious” session.
And at the end, the two sides seemed no closer to resolving their standoff over funding a border wall that has forced a partial government shutdown now hitting the two-week mark, with the possibility of a much longer closing looming.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Trump said he would “keep the government closed for a very long period of time — months or even years.”
Pelosi said, “We really cannot resolve this until we open up government, and we made that very clear to the president.”
Addressing reporters later, Trump maintained the two sides had a “very, very productive meeting,” and that “I think we’ve come a long, long way.”
Vice President Pence said he, White House adviser Jared Kushner and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen would meet with congressional staffers over the weekend.
“This is national security,” Trump said in a sometimes rambling statement in the Rose Garden, “we’re not playing games — we have to do it.”
Trump remains dug in on his refusal to sign any funding bill that does not include $5 billion for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. Democrats remain insistent they will not provide the votes to give him that funding.
“We’re not doing the wall,” Pelosi told reporters Thursday night. “Does anybody have any doubt that we’re not doing the wall?”
“I think the president’s made it very clear: no wall, no deal,” Pence later told Fox News.
Democrats took control of the House of Representatives this week and elected Pelosi to a post she first held from 2007 to 2011. In one of the first acts of the new Congress, the House passed a short-term bill funding the Department of Homeland Security for about a month and a measure providing money for every other federal department or agency currently without funding through the rest of the fiscal year, which goes through September.
The Homeland Security bill does not include Trump’s border wall demands. It passed on a 239-192 vote, with five House Republicans backing it. The broader bill passed 241-190, with seven GOP members voting for it.
Pelosi has framed the measures as a “Republican” solution to the impasse, because they mirror the spending bill the GOP-controlled Senate unanimously passed and sent to the House last month, before Trump reversed course and insisted any funding bill include wall money. Trump has issued a veto threat for the two bills. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said the Senate will not consider them, because he only wants to call a vote on a funding measure Trump would sign.
Friday morning’s White House meeting included Pelosi and the rest of the so-called “Big 8”: the top two leaders from all four House and Senate caucuses. Congressional leaders met with Trump on Wednesday, but left with little sign of progress.