Democrats emerged from what they called a “contentious” two-hour meeting at the White House on Friday showing little optimism about ending a partial government shutdown.
Bipartisan congressional leaders huddled with President Donald Trump as they try to break an impasse over the president’s demand for $5 billion to build his proposed border wall. The president threatened to keep nine U.S. departments closed “for a very long period of time months or even years” — until he gets the funding, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said.
In comments delivered later Friday from the White House Rose Garden, Trump described the meeting as “very productive.” He said that he had designated a group to advance talks over the weekend.
Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi both said they urged Republicans to temporarily reopen the government while they seek a solution on border security. On Thursday night, House Democrats passed legislation to fund eight closed departments through Sept. 30, and the Department of Homeland Security through Feb. 8.