The president seems to be digging in for a very long shutdown of the govenment. The House and Senate announced Tuesday they would stay in session, canceling an upcoming recess week at home if the shutdown continued, which seemed likely.
Trump has not moved off his demand to have Congress provide $5.7 billion to build his promised border wall with Mexico. Democrats say they will discuss border security once the government has reopened, but Pelosi is refusing money for the wall they view as ineffective and immoral.
The president showed no signs of backing down on a conference call with supporters.
“We’re going to stay out for a long time, if we have to,” Trump said. “We’ll be out for a long time.”
800,000 federal employees are furloughed or working without pay, Trump suggested the partial shutdown, which has clogged airport security lines and shuttered federal agencies, was going smoothly.
“People are very impressed with how well government is working with the circumstances that we’re under,” Trump said.
The administration — and its allies on Capitol Hill — are nervously eyeing the next payday, hoping to reach a resolution before next week’s Tuesday deadline.
“There is definitely a sense that there is a deadline approaching, which would be next Tuesday, to make sure that we’re able to solve this problem,” said Mercedes Schlapp, a White House spokeswoman.
Trump, who a week ago seemed intent on declaring a national emergency in order to build the wall, has turned his attention back to Congress as polling shows he is taking much of the blame for the standoff.
The White House invited rank-and-file lawmakers to lunch with Trump at the White House as part of a strategy to build support from centrist Democrats. But none of the House Democrats took Trump up on the offer.
Rep. Lou Correa, D-Calif., “welcomes the opportunity to talk with the President about border security,” his spokesman said, “as soon as the government is reopened.”
Trump urged his supporters to call the offices of Democratic lawmakers to press them to support the wall to reopen the government.
Republicans complain that Democrats are the ones who are refusing to move on the issue, and they say it’s up to Pelosi to bring Trump a new offer.
“The president — who is not well-known for flexibility — has been more flexible than the other side,” said Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri, a member of GOP leadership.