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After White House Meetings, No Deal To End Government Shutdown

President Trump and Democratic congressional leaders dug in Wednesday for a lengthy partial shutdown in a newly divided government after a White House meeting – the first in 22 days – could not break an impasse over Mr. Trump’s demands for billions of dollars for a border wall.

During the contentious meeting in the Situation Room, Mr. Trump made his case for a wall on the southwestern border and rejected Democrats’ proposals for reopening the government while the two sides ironed out their differences.


“I would look foolish if I did that,” Mr. Trump responded after Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, posed the question to him directly, according to three officials familiar with the meeting who described it on the condition of anonymity.

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, said after the meeting that he had no intention of putting Democratic bills to reopen the government to a vote if Mr. Trump would not sign them.

The events underscored the personal and political crosscurrents standing in the way of any compromise between a president unwilling to lose face with his core supporters on his signature campaign promise and newly empowered Democrats – poised to assume control of the House on Thursday – who refuse to give ground on an issue that has come to symbolize Mr. Trump’s immigration policies.

“Could be a long time, or it could be quickly,” Mr. Trump said of resolving the shutdown.

Mr. Trump tried creative ways to persuade the Democrats that they should support his wall.

Mr. Trump’s rejection of those measures left the prospects of a resolution at their dimmest since the shutdown began on Dec. 22.

A second official who attended said Mr. Trump’s team believed it would be easier for Ms. Pelosi to negotiate once she was officially installed as speaker.

In a pair of evening tweets, Mr. Trump seemed to hold out hope of an agreement, writing: “I remain ready and willing to work with Democrats to pass a bill that secures our borders, supports the agents and officers on the ground, and keeps America Safe. Let’s get it done!” But the path to such a deal is murky at best.

Before he met congressional leaders on Wednesday, Mr. Trump publicly rejected a compromise that Mr. Pence floated privately with Democrats last month to stave off the government funding lapse, saying $2.5 billion in border security spending was insufficient.


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