President Donald Trump on Saturday offered Democrats the chance to make a deal to reopen the government and provide funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“I am in the White House waiting for the Democrats to come on over and make a deal on Border Security. From what I hear, they are spending so much time on Presidential Harassment that they have little time left for things like stopping crime and our military!” Trump tweeted.
I am in the White House waiting for the Democrats to come on over and make a deal on Border Security. From what I hear, they are spending so much time on Presidential Harassment that they have little time left for things like stopping crime and our military!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 29, 2018
As of Jan. 3, when a new Congress will convene, Democrats will have a majority in the House. They have repeatedly signaled that investigating Trump in a variety of ways is their top priority once they assume power, The New York Times has reported.
Democratic leadership politics is, in fact, one reason Democrats refuse to meet with Trump and hammer out a deal, acting White House Chief of Staff Mark Mulvaney said Friday, noting that although Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York was willing to meet with Trump, House Democrats “left town.”
“The vice president and I met with Leader Schumer last Saturday, the last time we sat down face to face, and my gut was that he was really interested in doing a deal and coming to some sort of compromise,” Mulvaney said Friday on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.” “But the more we’re hearing this week is that it’s (House Minority Leader) Nancy Pelosi who’s preventing that from happening.”
Pelosi, he said, “does not have the votes for the speakership yet. She cannot be seen by her party as being weak on negotiating with Donald Trump.”
That means that reopening government cannot take place until Pelosi gets what she wants, Mulvaney said.
“So we fully expect that until she is elected speaker and has locked that vote up, we don’t expect to hear from the Democrats again. They told us last night that they were not countering our last offer,” he said.
The major issue separating the two sides is Trump’s demand for $5 billion for a border wall.
After a Christmas Day conference call with members of the military, the president spoke to the media about the need for the wall and the partial shutdown impacting the federal government.
“I can’t tell you when the government is going to be open,” Trump said, according to White House media pool reports. “I can tell you it’s not going to be open until we have a wall, a fence — whatever they’d like to call it. I’ll call it whatever they want, but it’s all the same thing; it’s a barrier from people pouring into our company — into our country. From drugs — it’s a barrier from drugs. It’s a barrier.
“You know, there’s a problem in this world today; it’s called ‘human trafficking.’ Human trafficking is one of the hard-to-believe problems. And we’re not going to let that take place. We’re not going to let — we are working so hard to catch these traffickers. They’re bad people. We can’t do it without a barrier. We can’t do it without a wall.”
Trump said Democrats have a different philosophy on border security.
“The only one that doesn’t want the wall are the Democrats because they don’t mind open borders,” he said. “But open borders mean massive amounts of crime. I mean, the Democrats don’t want it because they don’t want open borders. And yet every one of those Democrats approve the wall, or a fence, or very, very substantial barriers. Every single one. I don’t think there’s one.”
The president said experience has shown a wall will reduce illegal immigration.
“Well, in Israel, they had a big problem,” he said. “They put up a wall — 99.99 percent of the people were stopped from coming in. And we’ll have the exact same thing. And we have a long, long border, but we’ll have the exact same thing.
“Now, there may be the case of an Olympic champion who can get over the wall. But, for the most part, it’s a — you’re not able to do it. Very high. It’s going to be 30 feet, and much of it is 30-feet high. Some of it is lower. But in some areas, we have it as high as 30 feet. That’s not — that’s like a three-story building.”
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