Trump Says Shutdown Could Last for 'Months or Even Years'

But he says he hope it won't be that long
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 4, 2019 2:46 PM CST
Trump Says Shutdown Could Last for 'Months or Even Years'
Steamtown National Historic Site remains temporarily closed due to government shutdown in Scranton, Pa.   (Jake Danna Stevens/The Times-Tribune via AP)

With no shutdown resolution in sight, the AP reports that President Trump and Democratic leaders agreed Friday to additional staff-level talks over the weekend during a White House meeting at which Trump indicated he could keep parts of the government closed for "months or even years." Trump met with the congressional leaders for the second time in three days amid an impasse over Trump's funding demands for his proposed wall at the US-Mexico border. Democrats emerged from the lengthy meeting to report little if any progress "We told the president we needed the government open. He resisted. In fact, he said he'd keep the government closed for a very long period of time, months or even years," said Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Trump spoke more positively about the session, which lasted roughly two hours, calling it a "very good meeting." But he confirmed he made the comment about the possible length of the shutdown. "Absolutely I said that," Trump said, but he added that he hopes it won't be that long. The meeting on the 14th day of the shutdown came after House Democrats muscled through legislation to fund the government but not Trump's proposed wall. As the impasse over border funding dragged on, some GOP senators up for re-election in 2020 voiced discomfort. But Trump dug in ahead of the meeting, writing in a letter to Congress, "Walls work. That's why rich, powerful, and successful people build them around their homes." Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said measures approved by the House are non-starters on his side of the Capitol without the president's support. (Read more border wall stories.)

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