As the federal government shutdown enters into its second week, there is no end in sight.
President Trump wants $5 billion for the construction of a new border wall but Democrats have expressed they are unwilling to meet the request. Newly-elected House Speaker Nancy Pelosi even said she would only be willing to donate $1 to the wall, but no more.
So Trump met with congressional leaders on Thursday, then Friday, and they are planning to meet again Saturday morning.
If the first two meetings are any indication, then Saturday’s meeting won’t be fruitful either as the two parties could not be further opposed.
On Friday, the Washington Examiner reported Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Trump was prepared to keep the government “closed for a very long period of time, months or even years”
Here’s more from the Associated Press:
Trump met Friday with congressional leaders from both parties as the shutdown hit the two-week mark amid an impasse over his demand for billions of dollars for a border wall with Mexico. Democrats emerged from the meeting, which both sides said was contentious at times, to report little if any progress.
Trump has designated Vice President Mike Pence, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and adviser Jared Kushner to work with a congressional delegation at a meeting set for 11 a.m. Saturday.
Trump is framing the upcoming weekend talks as progress, while Democrats are emphasizing families unable to pay bills.
The standoff has prompted economic jitters and anxiety among some in Trump’s own party. But he appeared Friday in the Rose Garden to frame the weekend talks as progress, while making clear he would not reopen the government.
Saturday morning, a reporter asked Trump about the Friday meeting where he reportedly said the shutdown could continue for “months or even years.”
“Did you say that at the meeting? Is that your assessment for where we are?” the reporter asked Trump.
“I did. I did say that,” Trump responded. “Absolutely, I said that. I don’t think it will, but I am prepared and I think I can speak for Republicans in the House and Republicans in the Senate. They feel very strongly about having a safe country and having a border that makes sense. I’ve said many times that we don’t have a country [without borders].”
“I hope it does not go on even beyond a few more days, it really could open very quickly. They [congressional leaders and administration officials] will be working over the weekend. I think it may be somewhat contentious but I think it was very productive. I have to say that, and I think he [Schumer] would say that too.”
Trump later said he felt he was doing what he had to “for the benefit and safety of the country.”
Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.