WASHINGTON – Talks between President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats aimed toward ending a partial authorities shutdown collapsed in acrimony and disarray Wednesday, with Democrats accusing the president of strolling out and Trump calling the meeting “a total waste of time.”
The breakdown in talks left no finish in sight for the shutdown on its 19th day. Trump continued to demand billions for his U.S.-Mexico border wall as a situation for reopening the federal government, a push Democrats have regularly rejected.
In the course of the White Home meeting, Democrats as soon as once more pressed Trump to reopen most of the federal government. Trump refused, as an alternative asking Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., whether or not she would comply with his wall.
When Pelosi stated “no,” Trump exited the meeting within the White Home state of affairs room.
“Well, unfortunately, the president just got up and walked out,” stated Senate Minority Chief Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. “He asked Speaker Pelosi, ‘Will you agree to my wall?’ She said no. And he just got up and said, ‘Then we have nothing to discuss’ and he just walked out. Again, we saw a temper tantrum.”
Trump himself tweeted: “Just left a meeting with Chuck and Nancy, a total waste of time. I asked what is going to happen in 30 days if I quickly open things up, are you going to approve Border Security which includes a Wall or Steel Barrier? Nancy said, NO. I said bye-bye, nothing else works!”
Republican and Democratic lawmakers then took turns addressing reporters on the White Home, buying and selling blame and accusing each other of mischaracterizing the meeting and being intransigent.
It was not clear when, or if, negotiations will start anew. On Saturday, the partial shutdown would turn into the longest steady shutdown in U.S. historical past.
Some 800,000 federal staff are about to lose their first paycheck since being furloughed or working with out assured pay. Providers have been curtailed throughout businesses from the IRS to the Agriculture Division to the National Park Service. Democratic lawmakers say the federal staff they characterize are being pressured to dig into retirement financial savings and take different steps to cope with the monetary hardship.
The breakdown occurred shortly after the president dug in defiantly at a personal meeting with Senate Republicans, trying to rally GOP senators to his aspect whilst he confronted skepticism from a couple of lawmakers.
“There was no discussion of anything other than solidarity,” Trump informed reporters after meeting with GOP senators amid the unbudging deadlock.
However on the Capitol Hill meeting, there was not unanimity on Trump’s strategy.
Average Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Susan Collins, R-Maine, pleaded with Trump to reopen the federal government, in line with lawmakers current.
Trump stated that he was doing every little thing he might – however that he wouldn’t finish the standoff by taking nothing, based on two individuals accustomed to the trade who spoke on situation of anonymity to explain the personal dialogue.
After the meeting, Murkowski informed reporters: “I shared my support for the need for border security in the country and what we should do from a humanitarian perspective but a recognition that when the government is shut down there are consequences and people are starting to feel those consequences.”
However the discontent expressed by a handful of GOP lawmakers on each side of the Capitol appeared unlikely to vary the essential contours of the standoff between a president demanding a border wall and Democrats who refuse to offer it to him.
Congressional GOP leaders and the majority of rank-and-file lawmakers made clear that they help the president’s strategy, whilst federal providers have been minimize in some areas because the shutdown started Dec. 22.
“We’re all behind the president,” Senate Majority Chief Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., stated as he left the meeting at Trump’s aspect.
When requested Wednesday how lengthy he was prepared to let the shutdown proceed as he seeks cash for a border wall, Trump replied: “Whatever it takes.”
Earlier within the day, Home Republicans displayed putting unity in help of the president in a personal meeting, individuals stated, as not a single lawmaker stood as much as recommend that they help Democratic payments that may reopen a lot of the federal government however deny Trump new cash for a border wall.
That unity will face a recent check Wednesday afternoon, when Home Democrats are scheduled to carry a vote to reopen the Treasury Division, laws that may fund the IRS in the course of the coronary heart of tax season, when tens of millions of individuals file tax returns.
Trump has stated he wouldn’t signal any laws to reopen the federal government until it incorporates greater than $5 billion in border funding for brand spanking new partitions and different safety measures, a requirement Democrats have repeatedly refused.
Behind closed doorways, administration officers have been urging GOP lawmakers to carry the road on Trump’s demand that any laws to reopen the federal government embrace wall cash – even because the extended partial shutdown turns into extra painful for his or her constituents.
There was little optimism on the Capitol that the stalemate would finish anytime quickly.
“Both sides are not reading the other side properly. I think both sides think that there’s greater weakness on the other side than there really is,” stated Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., a number one Home conservative who’s near Trump.
“The Democrats think that we’re about ready to fold – most of you were writing about that yesterday. I think Republicans think that Democrats are ready to fold, and neither of those two things are accurate by any stretch of the imagination,” Meadows stated, including: “I think you can’t cave. That’s what the Democrats don’t understand – it’s all or nothing.”
With border funding negotiations at an deadlock, Trump has additionally threatened to bypass lawmakers by declaring a nationwide emergency to make use of Protection Division funds for the wall – a transfer that might activate government powers and virtually definitely face authorized challenges.
“I may do that at some point,” Trump stated after meeting with Senat Republicans, saying it might occur if he doesn’t get what he needs from “Chuck and Nancy” – his method of referring to Pelosi and Schumer.
“It’s a very bad political issue for the Democrats, that I can tell you,” Trump stated, referring to the wall challenge usually.
Home Republicans embraced Trump’s depiction of a border disaster after their gathering Wednesday morning.
“What we heard today, all of our colleagues were talking about the crisis,” Rep. Andy Barr, R-Ky., stated after rising from the meeting. “I think there’s a lot of unity in our conference supporting the president.”
A Home Republican, talking on the situation of anonymity to debate inner caucus dynamics, stated: “No one thinks we’re losing, and therefore we continue.” Like others within the GOP caucus, this lawmaker stated there isn’t a finish in sight to the partial authorities shutdown, and no plan to finish it.
Democrats seem equally unmoved, insisting anew that they might by no means help Trump’s wall and suggesting that Republicans would crack amid mounting impacts from the federal government shutdown.
“We expect that with each passing day, additional Republicans in the House, as well as Senate Republicans, will publicly express their objection to keeping the government shut down,” stated Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York, the Democrats’ convention chairman.
Trump continues to demand U.S. taxpayer dollars for the Mexico border wall he lengthy claimed Mexico would pay for. And he pushed that demand once more Wednesday in White Home remarks forward of his go to to the Capitol.
“They say it’s a medieval solution, a wall,” he stated. “It’s true. It’s medieval because it worked then, and it works even better now.”
Wednesday afternoon’s Home vote to reopen the Treasury Division and IRS comes after considerations surfaced that the IRS wouldn’t be issuing tax refunds in the course of the shutdown. Since then, the IRS has reversed a previous place and stated it’s going to proceed to situation refunds throughout a authorities shutdown, however different providers remained deterred.
Final week, seven Republicans broke ranks and supported a package deal of Democratic spending payments to reopen the federal government, nevertheless it’s unclear whether or not that quantity will develop in Wednesday afternoon’s vote.
Trump has made clear that he wouldn’t signal the Democrats’ laws, and McConnell has said repeatedly that he won’t put something on the ground that doesn’t have the president’s help.
“Look, I think most of our members realize that these are nothing more than show votes,” stated Rep. Drew Ferguson, R-Ga., chief deputy whip. “And I think that most members also realize that if they vote ‘yes’ on these bills and go home and tell their constituents that they voted to reopen the government, they would be pretty disingenuous about it, because we know these bills are going nowhere.”
The top of Trump’s Tuesday night time speech appealed to voters to name their representatives and plead for help for border safety and an finish to the shutdown.
However a number of Democrats stated Wednesday that such calls weren’t pouring in.
Rep. Susan Wild, D-Pa., who gained a district that narrowly voted towards Trump in 2016, stated calls in her workplace have been operating about 70-30 towards wall funding. That had not modified, she stated, after the president urged supporters to name their members of Congress and demand the wall.
“We haven’t gotten any calls to that effect,” Wild stated. “Most of the calls we’re getting are to the opposite effect.”
At a gathering of lawmakers representing the Washington area, house to the most important focus of federal staff and contractors, a number of lawmakers stated their workplaces are being flooded with calls, emails and letters from constituents panicking about how they’ll pay their payments.
Rep. Jennifer Wexton, D-Va., stated one furloughed employee returned Christmas presents. Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., stated one other couple is contemplating taking cash out of their retirement and youngsters’ school funds, regardless of monetary penalty, to pay for primary wants.
However a quantity of Republicans stated they weren’t listening to such considerations from their districts, which in lots of instances will not be residence to many federal staff.
“Most of us feel no pressure. In fact, it’s the opposite in our districts,” stated one Home Republican, talking on the situation of anonymity to explain personal conversations.
“None of us have any federal employees,” the lawmaker stated. “We’re dug in. I think the Democrats don’t realize this isn’t a political game we’re playing. We really believe in our souls that we have a responsibility to the American people to secure the border. And none of us are feeling pressure. Our districts want the wall.”
Nonetheless, the impacts of the shutdown stay concentrated to particular departments and businesses. About 75 % of the federal government managed by Congress was funded in earlier spending payments final yr, together with main departments such because the Pentagon and the Well being and Human Providers Division.
Shuttered departments and businesses embrace Treasury, IRS, Agriculture, Housing and City Improvement and the National Park Service.
The Washington Submit’s Paul Kane, David Weigel, Karoun Demirjian and Jenna Portnoy contributed to this report.