Trump holds firm on wall, but offers 'bizarre' compromise

President Donald Trump speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House on Jan. 4 2019 in Washington DC. Trump hosted both Democratic and Republican lawmakers at the White House for the second meeting in three days as the government shutdown heads into its

Trump holds firm on wall, but offers 'bizarre' compromise

"But many of those people that won't be receiving a paycheck, many of those people agree 100 percent with what I'm doing", Mr. Trump said.

After returning from Camp David Trump told reporters "we're looking at a national emergency because we have a national emergency" and that "we're looking at it very strongly".

"I would rather have the Supreme Court rule and then work with the Democrats on DACA", Trump said.

While Vice President Pence eagerly tweeted about weekend talks between the White House and Congress, there was one thing which stood out from the photos released by his office - there were no lawmakers from either party involved.

Asked about the ability of government workers to pay their bills, President Trump said Sunday that he expected federal workers would be able to "adjust" financially, as he expressed confidence that they supported his drive for border security.

White House and congressional negotiators were scheduled to meet Sunday after scant progress was made in a sesson Saturday.

The president 'will travel to the Southern border on Thursday to meet with those on the frontlines of the national security and humanitarian crisis, ' White House press secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted Monday.

- $5.7 billion for what is now called a "steel barrier" for the Southwest Border (which is an increase of $4.1 billion over the Senate funding).

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney also noted the perceived political benefit of calling for a steel barrier to NBC News saying Sunday, "If he has to give up a concrete wall, replace it with a steel fence in order to do that so that Democrats can say, "See?"

"The barrier, or the wall, can be of steel instead of concrete, if that helps people". While the House last week approved a pair of funding bills to re-open the federal government, Senate Republicans are not planning to bring those up on the floor, as the first bill up for consideration in 2019 will be on USA foreign policy in the Middle East. "Good solution, and made in the U.S.A".

A Republican aide told CNN after the meeting that Democrats did not come back with a "reasonable" counteroffer to the administration's requests. "And it's been that way for decades, and we can't have it anymore", Trump said.

But not all Republicans agree with Mr Trump's insistence on keeping government agencies shuttered until the border debate is resolved.

"It is not a sign of weakness to try to figure out a middle ground, and I think that both sides need to indicate a willingness to listen and to compromise", said US Senator Susan Collins of Maine on NBC. And hundreds of government scientists say they will miss crucial opportunities to exchange research and ideas because the shutdown is stopping them from attending major scientific conferences about technology, space exploration and climate change.

That would be via piecemeal appropriation bills, to reopen certain agencies, such as the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service.

President Donald Trump speaks in the White House on January 3.

Meanwhile, the shutdown is having wide-reaching effects.

The shutdown, which is threatening to become the longest in USA history, is affecting about 800,000 federal workers, many of whom will soon miss their first paycheque, and has curtailed the functions of numerous government agencies. Airlines can't get permission to add new planes to their fleets, mortgage lenders can't verify the income of borrowers and the Food and Drug Administration can't accept many new drug applications.

Trump is annoyed by news reports about the negotiations that make it seem that he is backing away from his demands and wants to avoid stories about new numbers for wall funding being discussed, aides said.

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