Shutdown Day 12: Lawmakers to hear wall plea at White House

These Dems will make life harder for Trump

Schumer and incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi prepared to attend the meeting with Trump as Democrats remain unified in their opposition to extending additional taxpayer money to finance a wall on the Mexico border. Graham, whose every action should be viewed through the lens of the 2020 primary challenge of which he lives in terror, recently justified his stubbornness by explaining that the wall has become a "metaphor" for "border security", which is (1) not what "metaphor" means and (2) as transparent as a disclosure of one's own terminal vacuousness can get. "They started off with $5.5 billion or else".

The government has been partially shut down for almost two weeks, and President Donald Trump's competing desires to hold his ground for more border security funding and shift blame for the impasse onto Democrats have made it even harder to reach a deal to reopen it.

The Wednesday afternoon briefing with the congressional leaders is taking place the day before Democrats are to assume control of the House and end the Republican monopoly on government.

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.

Trump has refused to sign a spending bill that does not include his requested $5 billion to build his long-promised border wall.

The session is being held in the high-security Situation Room at the White House, which is typically used to handle sensitive information.

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Mr Trump claimed again that Mexico would be paying for the border wall through a revised trade agreement, but Associated Press said there is no mechanism in the agreement for Mexico to refund the outgoings from the US. He would need to be convicted by two-thirds of United States senators - an unlikely prospect, unless members of his own Republican party turns on him. Funding for Trump's pet project, a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border, has been the sticking point in passing budgets. "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.

Rick Perry, the energy secretary and former Texas governor, voiced his approval of the president's push for a border wall - an idea that he had mocked while running for president.

But he seemed to shift tactics later in the day, appealing to Ms Pelosi. "Let's make a deal?" he tweeted.

Back in 2011, stumping in New Hampshire for president, Perry rejected that approach: "I don't support a fence on the border". Democrats believe pressure will mount on Republicans as the shutdown drags on, the aide said.

The Democratic package to end the shutdown would include one bill to temporarily fund the Department of Homeland Security at current levels - with $1.3 billion for border security, far less than Trump has said he wants for the wall - through February 8 as talks continued. "That was 30 years ago", she said.

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