Trump defends work ethic after leak of private schedule

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Predictably each side blamed the other for the stall in negotiations.

News site Axios initially leaked Trump's schedule last Sunday, showing that the president spends the majority of his day on "Executive Time". Democratic negotiators have so far indicated that they might agree to allocate only $1.6 to $2 billion for the border wall. Democrats have proposed a 16,500 cap on beds to be used for interior enforcement, with the rest to be used for those captured at the border, according to people familiar with the talks.

"Let's say the hardcore, left wing of the Democrat Party prevails in this negotiation and they put a bill on the president's desk with, say, zero money for the wall, or $800 million, an absurdly low number", White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told "Meet the Press" on Sunday. "This cap will force the Trump administration to prioritize arresting and deporting serious criminals, not law-abiding immigrants".

When asked about funding for a border wall, Mulvaney said he "absolutely cannot" rule out another government shutdown.

On Sunday, lead Republican negotiator Senator Richard Shelby told Fox News that he was "not confident we're going to get there".

One sticking point has been the Democrats' demand for funding fewer detention beds for people arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.

The White House and many Republicans want to push the amount that would be spent for building physical barriers to $US2 billion ($A2.8 billion) or higher. Two sources involved said if the bipartisan talks continued at an impasse, House Democrats were considering moving a package that would include a continuing resolution for the Department of Homeland Security through September along with six other outstanding funding measures at full year levels.

Lawmakers and Trump face a February 15 deadline to pass new legislation to keep the government open.

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Trump seized on the stall in a pair of tweets on Sunday, saying Democrats were "offering very little money" for the wall and claiming Democrats actually wanted a shutdown for political purposes.

Democrats say they proposed their cap to force ICE to concentrate its internal enforcement efforts on risky immigrants, not those who lack legal authority to be in the country but are productive and otherwise pose no threat.

Trump said on Twitter Sunday that he doesn't think Democrats on the committee are being allowed by their leaders to make a deal with border wall money and "now, out of the blue, want a cap on convicted violent felons to be held in detention!"

House Budget Committee Chairman John Yamuth, D-Ky., countered by telling the same show, "the numbers are all over the place".

"We are looking to see if the president is working in the national interest", Schiff said.

"I'm hopeful that this committee will be able to come up with a proposal that we can all support, that the President can sign", Cheney said.

Mulvaney later added, "You can not take a shutdown off the table and you can not take $5.7 billion off the table". "I would say no", Mulvaney said.

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