The partial U.S. government shutdown entered its fifth day on Wednesday as the White House and lawmakers remain at odds over President Donald Trump’s demands to fund a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
There’s little indication of any urgency to resolve the dispute and no public indication of following Tuesday’s Christmas holiday in the U.S. Trump is demanding $5 billion for a border wall while Democratic leaders have proposed $1.3 billion for border security.
Congressional leaders were out of town for the Christmas holiday while Trump remained at the White House.
Trump told reporters at the White House on Tuesday that the government is “not gonna be open until we have a wall, a fence, whatever they’d like to call it.”
Asked whether his demand for $5 billion was negotiable, Trump said, “it’s complicated.” He added: “We have some wall money, but we want the wall money to be increased.”
Asked what he would do if the House passes a bill that doesn’t fund a wall, Trump said, “that’s probably presidential harassment, and we know how to handle that,” using a term his allies coined to describe anticipated Democratic investigations of the Trump administration.
The president said federal workers who have been furloughed “want the wall.” “They understand what’s happening. They want border security,” Trump said after he was asked what message he had for workers affected by the shutdown.