No agreement came out between U.S. congressional leaders and President Donald Trump
Washington. No agreement came out of a meeting between U.S. congressional leaders and President Donald Trump on Wednesday to end a partial government shutdown now in its 12th day as the president stuck to his demand for $5 billion (3.97 billion pounds) in border wall funding fiercely opposed by Democrats.
Congressional leaders are expected to return to the White House on Friday to resume talks, signalling the shutdown will likely stretch into the weekend.
The White House convened the meeting to try to convince Democrats that funding a wall on the southern border with Mexico was a pressing security need. Instead, Democratic leaders cut off Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Neilsen’s presentation and tried to no avail to press Trump to accept their offer.
“It just was not a credible presentation,” Senator Dick Durbin said of the briefing. He added that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, who is expected to be elected House speaker on Thursday, insisted the conversation focus instead on the shutdown.
Pelosi said the House would proceed with plans to hold votes on Thursday, when they formally take control of the chamber from Trump’s fellow Republicans, on legislation that would end the shutdown without providing the wall money sought by Trump.
“We’re asking the president to open up government,” Pelosi told reporters outside the White House after the meeting.
But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said afterward on the Senate floor that the chamber would not vote on the legislation, calling it a “political sideshow” and “total nonstarter.”