A Wednesday meeting between President Trump and congressional leaders on potentially ending the federal shutdown reportedly went nowhere as Democrat leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi continued to refuse to fund the border wall.
The two Democrats said they would not concede to Trump’s demand for $5 billion, they instead argued in favor of two legislative proposals which would fund the government but did not include any money for the border wall.
After the meeting, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell ripped Pelosi for quickly taking up the bills which did not include the border funding as a “political sideshow.”
“We’re not interested in having show votes here in the Senate,” he said. “It’s exactly the kind of proposal you’d expect if the incoming House Democrats are choosing to stage a political sideshow rather than doing the hard work of helping to govern the country.”
McConnell noted that his chamber is dedicated to finding a solution that the president will actually sign into law, adding he would not even take up a vote on proposals which does not have Trump’s endorsement.
“The Senate will be glad to vote on a measure that the House passes that the president will sign. But we’re not going to vote on anything else,” McConnell said per Politico.
The Senate leader commented after the White House meeting that he’s hoping the two opposing parties reach a deal in the coming “days” or “weeks.”
As it stands, Trump wants $5 billion for the construction of the border wall before he agrees to reopen the government. Democrats previously offered $1.3 billion for border security measures, not specifically the border wall. Pelosi has since said she will concede “nothing for the wall.”
As Reuters reports, the White House similarly called the two-part Democratic plan a “non-starter”:
President Donald Trump has asked congressional leaders to return to the White House on Friday for talks aimed at ending a partial government shutdown over a dispute on border security funding, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy said on Wednesday.
Speaking after a meeting of congressional leaders with Trump at the White House, McCarthy said he believed the president wanted to find a solution to the crisis.
“We know that we have a challenge along the border. We want to solve that issue. We want to make sure we open this government up. And I think at the end of the day, the president, listening to him, he wants to solve this as well,” McCarthy said.
Democrats said they would proceed with plans to hold votes on Thursday, when they formally take control of the U.S. House of Representatives from Trump’s fellow Republicans, on legislation that would end the shutdown without providing money for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border that Trump sought. The White House has called the two-part package a “non-starter.”
Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.