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Trump pushes for border wall money as top lawmakers receive briefing

03 January 2019

"We are in a shutdown because Democrats refuse to fund border security", he said, accusing Democrats of playing politics on the issue because they have an eye on the 2020 presidential contest.

The President made his case for wall funding anew ahead of the session with Democratic and Republican leaders, pointing to migrants arriving at the border in recent days, but indicated he was in no rush for a resolution to the impasse.

"And I think that Donald Trump, I think, understands that now, and we have all the confidence that she will advocate on our behalf and get the best deal possible for the American people", he added.

The briefing is scheduled for 3 p.m. EST Wednesday, the day before Democrats assume control of the House.

Today marks the last day of the Trump-Ryan-McConnell era of unified Republican government in Washington, which, despite the enormous political power wielded by three men between whom there exists near-perfect ideological alignment, will still conclude in the midst of a two-week government shutdown of their own creation. Senate Republicans are reluctant to consider the House bills unless they know the president is on board.

The Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is among those institutions closed due to the partial government shutdown.

The White House dismissed the Democrats' proposal. Then, he said, "we will turn our attention to bringing our democracy to life and returning our government to the people".

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Democrats have noted Trump repeatedly promised during his campaign and earlier in his presidency that Mexico would pay for the wall, not USA taxpayers. The White House official says there was a consensus in the room that negotiations would be put on hold until Pelosi officially assumed her expected role of Speaker.

Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, the incoming minority leader, panned the Democratic effort to reopen government without wall money. "I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck", the president said in a televised Oval Office meeting with Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi on December 11.

Mr Trump spent the weekend saying Democrats should return to Washington to negotiate, firing off Twitter taunts.

"I asked him directly". And for some reason they don't value this idea of border security, they don't value the sanctity of our borders and that's really problematic, especially for a border state like Texas. "Senate Republicans have already supported this legislation, and if they reject it now, they will be fully complicit in chaos and destruction of the President's third shutdown of his term".

But he seemed to shift tactics later in the day, appealing to Ms Pelosi.

The standoff resulted in swathes of the federal government being shut down over the Christmas and New Year holidays - and for the foreseeable future until a deal is reached. "Let's make a deal?" he wrote. His demand infuriated many Republicans who had been working to avoid a shutdown, but most have followed his lead and are insisting Democrats broker some sort of compromise.

Administration officials said he believed he had public opinion and his base on his side. "That was 30 years ago", she said.

Trump pushes for border wall money as top lawmakers receive briefing