White House: Trump made 'good faith offer' to Democrats on border wall

White House: Trump made 'good faith offer' to Democrats on border wall

Democratic leaders emerged from a White House meeting Wednesday to say they are willing to talk border security but not until after Congress ends the partial government shutdown, signaling that more than a week away from Washington has only deepened the impasse. The temporary measure would maintain the current $1.3 billion in border security money, which can be used for fencing and repairs of current barriers.

Democrats take charge of the House of Representatives from Trump's fellow Republicans when the new 2019-2020 Congress convenes on Thursday.

Taking place a day before Democrats assume control of the House and end a GOP monopoly on government the meeting included McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin and Senate GOP Conference Chair John Thune, as well as incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Minority Whip Steve Scalise. Guthrie asked in the clip tweeted by NBC's Today Show.

In comments during a Cabinet meeting, Mr Trump also said he was open to working on a path to legal status for hundreds of thousands of young illegal immigrants known as Dreamers, pointing toward a potential broader deal with Democrats that could resolve the shutdown.

Democrats have noted Trump repeatedly promised during his campaign and earlier in his presidency that Mexico would pay for the wall, not US taxpayers. Chairman Kim has been - we've had a, we've really established a very good relationship a lot of good things are happening.

Pelosi said the Democratic-majority House plans to pass a funding bill without wall funding, and Trump insists that he will not sign a bill that doesn't pay for the wall.

Trump even rejected a lower, US$2.5 billion offer Vice-President Mike Pence had extended to Democrats shortly before Christmas. Many will miss their first paycheck on January 11 unless Trump signs a spending bill before then. The US$5.6 billion Trump is demanding would finance about 320km of wall, and less than 160km has already been constructed or renovated, according to Department of Homeland Security officials. Funding for the wall has been the sticking point in passing essential spending bills for several government departments.

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But Trump has made clear, repeatedly on both Twitter and in private conversations, that he isn't backing down on a fight that has support from his base, top allies in the House Republican conference and top supporters in conservative commentary circles. This iteration, however, has no obvious end in sight, because Donald Trump spent two years crowing about the inevitability of the border wall without making a contingency plan for the point at which one of the legislature's two chambers could meaningfully oppose its construction.

Trump also rejected his own administration's offer to accept $2.5 billion for the wall.

Trump said he's willing to continue the shutdown until the wall money materializes, calling it "too important a subject to walk from". He complained that Democrats interrupted Homeland Security officials who were trying to describe a dire situation at the border.

The White House did not respond to HuffPost queries about whether Trump understood that what he was saying was false and, if he did, why he was doing so anyway. Major agencies like the Pentagon and the Health and Human Services Department have already been funded through the end of the fiscal year September 30, thanks to spending bills passed by Congress earlier in the year and signed by Trump.

"Government shutdowns should be as off-limits to budget negotiations as chemical weapons are to warfare", Alexander wrote.

The agencies that are unfunded and in shutdown mode include the Homeland Security Department that pays for the wall, as well as the Agriculture, Justice, Interior, Transportation, State and Housing departments.

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