10 January, 2019
U.S. President Donald Trump and congressional leaders are meeting again Wednesday, but there were no signs they were ready to compromise over Trump's demand for funding for construction of a barrier wall along the U.S.
In an instant rebuttal, Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said the real problem was Trump's "cruel and counter-productive policies" that have made the border ever more unsafe for vulnerable migrants, including young families.
Vice President Mike Pence said Trump "called the question" during the meeting, using the legislative term for putting an issue up for a vote.
The two leaders said this in a joint statement late Monday: "Now that the television networks have chose to air the president's address, which if his past statements are any indication will be full of malice and misinformation, Democrats must immediately be given equal airtime". "He asked Speaker Pelosi if she would fund his wall and she said "no" and he said, 'Well then, we have nothing to talk about.' And got up and walked out".
"We knew the President would be prone to exaggeration to support his need for Democratic support to fund his wall", Lester said.
"We saw a temper tantrum", Schumer told reporters gathered on the White House driveway.
Instead, he renewed his notice that he might declare a national emergency and try to authorise the wall on his own if Congress wouldn't approve the $5.7bn he's asking for.
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As the shutdown enters its 19th day, 800,000 federal workers are increasingly likely to miss their first pay cheques, due at the end of the week.
On Tuesday, he gave a primetime address from the Oval Office, where he called border security a "crisis", and characterized Democrats as intractable in their refusal to support wall funding. Trump plans a personal visit to the Mexican border on Thursday as he tries to put pressure on newly empowered Democrats in the shutdown standoff. The president alleged that the Democrats in Congress had failed to acknowledge the crisis and refused to provide the border agents with the tools they desperately need to protect families and the nation.
The shutdown is the third under Trump's watch and the longest since 1995.
But he made no mention of such a declaration in his speech.
Able to get the bills through the House because of the Democratic majority, Pelosi is hoping some Senate Republicans back her up and abandon Trump's wall gambit.
"The fact-checking came too late for any viewers who turned off their televisions after the president stopped speaking", said Media Matters' Matt Gertz. There's little concern about that within the White House, where it's regarded as a problem mainly felt in Washington - despite the fact that thousands of federal workers live outside of the capital area.
"This is the tragic reality of illegal immigration on our southern border", he added.