As the partial government shutdown moves into its 12th day, President Donald Trump has summoned congressional leaders to discuss border security in the White House Situation Room, according to Fox News.
The meeting is to take place on Wednesday afternoon where Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and House Republicans Kevin McCarthy and Steve Scalise are expected to be in attendance.
Additionally, Democrats Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker-designate, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are expected to be there as well.
The Fox report speculated that the choice to have the meeting in the Situation Room was made to ensure a private meeting with the leaders, as the room is so secure that it’s normally reserved for matters involving national security or defense.
Everyone entering the Situation Room will be asked to forfeit their cell phones, Fox reported.
The meeting comes as the partial government shutdown is nearing the end of its second full week.
While the majority of federal employees are still working, several thousands of employees are staying home without pay due to the shutdown. Furthermore, several federal tourist sites are closed as well.
Congress isn’t scheduled to meet until Thursday, but House Democrats have already touted a spending bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security through Feb. 8 with $1.3 billion allocated for border security.
The $1.3 billion is far less than the $5 billion that the president has asked Congress for.
In a statement, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders called the Democrat’s funding plan a “non-starter,” according to Fox.
The statement said that the plan “does not fund our homeland security or keep American families safe from human trafficking, drugs, and crime.”
Sanders added, “President Trump has made a serious, good-faith offer to Democrats to open the government, address the crisis at our border, and protect all Americans.”
“We have heard nothing from the Democrats, who so far have refused to compromise. Speaker Designate Nancy Pelosi released plan that will not re-open the government because it fails to secure the border and puts the needs of other countries above the needs of our own citizens,” the statement said.
On Tuesday, Trump argued once again that Mexico is already paying for the wall by the money saved through the new trade agreement involving the United States, Mexico and Canada that’s meant to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Mexico is paying for the Wall through the new USMCA Trade Deal. Much of the Wall has already been fully renovated or built. We have done a lot of work. $5.6 Billion Dollars that House has approved is very little in comparison to the benefits of National Security. Quick payback!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2019
“Mexico is paying for the Wall through the new USMCA Trade Deal. Much of the Wall has already been fully renovated or built. We have done a lot of work,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
“$5.6 Billion Dollars that House has approved is very little in comparison to the benefits of National Security. Quick payback!”
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