Trump says government shutdown could last ‘years’
A White House meeting between Democrats and Republicans yielded no deal as US president threatened to keep the government closed for a very long period of time, months or even years.
Iran Press/America: Two weeks into a debilitating partial government shutdown, Donald Trump and senior Democrats are still not close to an agreement to end the standoff as the row over money for the president’s signature wall on the Mexican border deepens.
Despite more than 800,000 public workers being left unpaid and about a quarter of the federal government closed, the president has threatened to keep the partial shutdown going for “months, or even years” if he does not get the $5.6 billion he has demanded for the proposed border wall, according to a report by The Independent.
Trump “said he’d keep the government closed for a very long period of time – months or even years,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters on the White House driveway after a meeting between congressional leadership and the president on Friday.
Donald Trump, during a subsequent press conference in the Rose Garden, confirmed the comments.
“Absolutely I said that,” Trump said during the press conference, in which he also suggested that he could use emergency powers to divert funding for the border wall from other parts of the federal government if necessary. “I don’t think it will, but I’m prepared.”
Democrats, who now hold the majority in the House, passed spending bills on Thursday to reopen the government, including $1.3bn (£1bn) of border security funds until 8 February.
But the legislation cannot take effect unless it passes the Republican-controlled Senate, where leader Mitch McConnell said his party would not back any measure without the president's support. 101/211