- The Washington Times
Saturday, January 5, 2019

Congressional and administration negotiators agreed to meet again Sunday after holding what the White House called “productive” talks Saturday that failed to end the two-week-old government shutdown.

Vice President Mike Pence reiterated to congressional leadership aides Saturday that President Trump demands funding for a border wall as part of any deal to reopen the government.


Mr. Trump tweeted later, “Not much headway made today.”

A vice presidential aide said Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen “was able to provide a full briefing on the crisis at the Southern border” during the talks Saturday. White House negotiators were angered earlier in the week when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi interrupted a similar presentation.

Mr. Pence’s aide said the talks Saturday were “productive, and they agreed to meet again tomorrow afternoon.”

There was no in-depth conversation about money for the proposed wall, but the discussion focused on priorities for security, the source said. Democratic negotiators asked for more details in writing on needs of DHS, which the administration agreed to provide over the next 24 hours.

Mr. Trump said Saturday he wants to end the partial government shutdown quickly, but needs Democrats’ cooperation to build a border wall.

A day after he told Democratic leaders that he’s prepared to keep the government closed for months or longer, Mr. Trump said on Twitter that he wants “to stop the Shutdown as soon as we are in agreement on Strong Border Security!”

“I don’t care that most of the workers not getting paid are Democrats,” he tweeted. “I am in the White House ready to go, where are the Dems?”

The meeting at the White House on Friday ended without agreement. Democrats in control of the House say they won’t discuss border security until the government is reopened.

Mr. Trump also said Friday that he might consider declaring a national emergency to build the wall without congressional approval.

“The Democrats could solve the Shutdown problem in a very short period of time,” Mr. Trump tweeted. “All they have to do is approve REAL Border Security (including a Wall), something which everyone, other than drug dealers, human traffickers and criminals, want very badly! This would be so easy to do!”

He added, “The Democrats want Billions of Dollars for Foreign Aid, but they don’t want to spend a small fraction of that number on properly securing our Border. Figure that one out!”

Sen. Robert P. Casey, Pennsylvania Democrat, said the president “doesn’t seem to get it.”

“He’s not getting a concrete or steel wall along the width of the border- never, ever, ever, ever,” Mr. Casey tweeted Saturday. “I, along with Democrats in Congress, want to actually fix our immigration system through comprehensive reform that secures the border and provides a pathway to citizenship for immigrants.”


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