Trump 'Can Relate' to Plight of Unpaid Government Workers

He says Sunday shutdown talks were 'productive'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 7, 2019 4:27 AM CST

(Newser) – President Trump said Sunday that he can "relate" to the plight of hundreds of thousands of federal workers worried about having to get by without paychecks if the shutdown continues, though critics wondered if the president really had any comparable life experiences. "I'm sure the people that are on the receiving end will make adjustments. They always do," Trump told reporters after returning from Camp David. "People understand what's going on. Many of those people that won't be receiving a paycheck, many of those people agree 100% with what I'm doing." If no deal is reached, Friday will be the first scheduled payday that furloughed federal workers will miss, ABC reports.

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The president is refusing to strike a deal to reopen the government unless it includes funds for a border wall. Trump, who met with White House officials at Camp David, said Mike Pence had made good progress in a separate meeting Sunday with congressional leadership aides. The meeting was "productive" and "many details of Border Security were discussed," Trump said in a tweet late Sunday, adding that a "Steel Barrier" is now planned instead of a concrete wall. "They don't like concrete, so we’ll give them steel," he said of Democrats. A source tells the Washington Post that little progress was made in Sunday's meeting, in which Democrats called for the White House to support bipartisan spending bills that had already passed. The source says Pence told Democrats "the president would not do that." (Trump says he may declare a national emergency.)

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