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The Trump-Pelosi Standoff: Dem Leader Begins Reign, Digs in Heels Against Border Wall


It looks like there's no end in sight to the battle over the border, and now President Trump has another challenge on his hands.

The new Democratic House of Representatives was sworn in Thursday, showing few signs of willingness to negotiate a deal. 

After a meeting at the White House, Democrats again refused to give Trump and the GOP the money for a wall at the US-Mexico border.

New Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi says "there's no amount of persuasion" from the president that could get her to fund the wall.

Democrats have made an offer on the budget, but it doesn't include funding for a wall.

"We're asking the president to open up government," Pelosi said. "We're giving him a Republican path to do that. Why would he not do it? Why would he not do it?"

The president hosted a bipartisan briefing on border security in the Situation Room Wednesday as the partial government shutdown drags on, now in its 13th day.

President Donald J. Trump, joined by Vice President Mike Pence, meets with Republican and Democratic congressional leadership Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019, in the Situation Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

"Could be a long time and it could be quickly," said Trump. "Could be a long time. It's too important a subject to walk away from."

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) says the president couldn't give a good answer why the shutdown should continue.

"The only reason that they are shutting down the government is very simple," said Schumer. "They want to try and leverage that shutdown into their proposals on border security." 

Earlier in the day, the president at his first cabinet meeting of the new year once again reiterated his case for the border wall. "We're asking for $5.6 (billion). Somebody said $2.5. No, look, this is national security we're talking about," he said.

House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy said Democrats didn't even want to hear about how bad the situation at the border is.  

He said the Democrats quickly interrupted Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen when she tried to explain it and didn't even listen to her.

McCarthy said the president asked lawmakers to discuss other ways to end the shutdown. "Both sides can sit down, find a compromise that actually secures the border," McCarthy said.

Meanwhile, the two sides will meet again Friday and the showdown could last a good while yet, even as House Democrats are planning their own agenda of investigations into the president and other measures like taking on climate change and possible health care legislation.


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