Trump Invites Congressional Leaders For Talks As Shutdown Continues
Updated at 11:51 a.m. ET Wednesday
As the partial government shutdown continues into its second week, President Trump has invited a bipartisan group of top lawmakers to the White House for talks.
"The President has invited Republican and Democrat leaders in Congress to the White House for a border security briefing from senior Department of Homeland Security officials on Wednesday, and he remains committed to reaching an agreement that both reopens the government and keeps Americans safe," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement Tuesday.
Trump's 3 p.m. ET meeting with the top eight Republican and Democratic congressional leaders is set a day before Democrats take over the House.
President Trump hinted at the talks in a tweet earlier Tuesday.
"Border Security and the Wall 'thing' and Shutdown is not where Nancy Pelosi wanted to start her tenure as Speaker! Let's make a deal?" Trump asked.
Replying to Trump's tweet, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who is set to take over as speaker, wrote that the president "has given Democrats a great opportunity to show how we will govern responsibly & quickly pass our plan to end the irresponsible #TrumpShutdown."
.@realDonaldTrump has given Democrats a great opportunity to show how we will govern responsibly & quickly pass our plan to end the irresponsible #TrumpShutdown – just the first sign of things to come in our new Democratic Majority committed to working #ForThePeople. https://t.co/CGl1euCotB— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) January 1, 2019
Trump has insisted on $5.7 billion for a southern border wall, but Democratic congressional leaders have stood firm against the funding.
The House is expected to vote on a funding bill to end the partial government shutdown on Thursday. That's the first day of the new Congress, when Democrats will take control of the chamber and are expected to elect Pelosi as speaker.
According to Pelosi, the legislation will include the full-year appropriations for six of the seven outstanding funding bills. And it would provide stopgap funding until Feb. 8 for the Department of Homeland Security, which is where the fight over border wall funding is contained.
"It is important to note that these bills contain no new wall funding," Pelosi said in a letter Tuesday to Democratic House members.
Sanders said the Democrats "so far have refused to compromise" and called Pelosi's plan a "non-starter because it does not fund our homeland security or keep American families safe from human trafficking, drugs, and crime."
About 800,000 federal employees are furloughed during the partial shutdown or are working without pay. On Friday, Trump issued an executive order freezing the salary rates for civilian federal workers.
NPR's Scott Detrow contributed to this report.
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