WASHINGTON – Both sides have much to offer in the battle for the border wall between US President Donald Trump and Mexico. What they obviously can not agree on is what it should be spent on.
And until Trump, who wants a wall, and Democrats who oppose him, can come to an agreement, parts of the US government remain closed
Christmas was the fourth day of the partial closure of the US government without end ,
Most legislators fled the capital the weekend to be with their families. Trump stayed in the White House after he discarded plans to spend Christmas at his Florida estate.
"Nothing new, nothing new to shut down, nothing new unless we need border security," he told reporters at the White House during his participation in the annual tradition of answering phone calls from children who want to know when Santa Claus arrived comes to their homes.
In a joint statement, Congressional Democratic leaders Sen. Chuck Schumer and MP Nancy Pelosi blamed Trump for "staving the country into chaos." They pointed to problems beyond standstill, including heavy losses on Wall Street and Trump's decision to fire his defense minister.
"The president wanted him to stand still, but he does not seem to know how to save himself," they said in the statement.
Trump had said that he was "proud" to shut down the government in a fight for the Wall, but now accuses the Democrats of having refused to give him the votes necessary to endorse a house Passport law requires the $ 5.7 billion he wants for the Wall.
Over the weekend, the White House offered Schumer a counteroffer between Trump's $ 5.7 billion and the $ 1.3 billion Democrats offered, budget director Mick Mulvaney said. He did not do that, but a Democratic aide granted anonymity to discuss the private talks. The White House offered $ 2.5 billion – initially $ 2.1 billion and $ 400 million to Democrats referred to as the "Slush Fund" for the president's other priorities.
Mulvaney said he was waiting for Schumer's answer. Schumers office said the parties remained "very far apart."
Trump came from the White House where he tirelessly tweeted on various topics while he was locked up in the mansion since Saturday when the closure began. He tweeted once about the feeling of loneliness.
"I am all alone (poor me) in the White House, waiting for the Democrats to come back and make a deal on much-needed Border Security," he tweeted. "At some point, the Democrats, who do not want to make a deal, cost our country more money than the border wall that we all talk about.
Trump met the Minister of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen and other MPs on Monday at the Border Guard. The Senate negotiators continued discussions with Democrats and Republicans behind the scenes. The House and Senate gathered in the meeting just before Christmas Eve before being quickly closed again without any further action.
Since Saturday, several Cabinet Departments and agencies have been closed after their funding expired are ready to take back control of the house.
Trump apologized federal employees on Monday for work, and Christmas is a federal holiday, meaning that the public is feeling the effects of Wednesday's closure. About 800,000 workers in the state either have to work for the time being without pay or stay at home and wait until they are paid later.
Trump promised to pay Mexico for the border wall. Mexico has refused.
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