USA budget shutdown: I won't compromise on wall, says Trump

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The President said on Friday after meeting with congressional Democratic leaders that he was prepared for a partial government shutdown to last for months or even years if they don't agree to provide funding for border security, including the wall.

President Donald Trump speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, joined by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., and other Congressional Republican leaders, after a meeting with Congressional leaders on border security, as the government shutdown continues Friday, Jan. 4, 2019.

Trump threatened again, without providing specifics on where the funding would originate, to declare a national emergency as an alternative way to build the wall, depending on the outcome of talks in the coming days.

Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House of Representatives, has said Democrats will start approving individual bills to reopen government departments, starting with the Treasury, so Americans could get their tax refunds.

Democrats have signaled they could accept a deal that precluded a concrete wall but provided funding for a steel barrier. "It may be better", he said.

But the legislation can not take effect unless it passes the Republican-controlled Senate, where leader Mitch McConnell said his party would not back any measure without the president's support.

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Trump suggested that he might call the wall "something different" to bring Democrats to the table, but said he preferred a "steel" barrier over concrete. "He's not building a wall anymore", that should help us move in the right direction", Mulvaney, who is also the head of the Office of Management and Budget, said. "I am in the White House ready to go, where are the Dems?"

"It'll be discussed", he said on NBC.

Trump says he doesn't expect anything to come out of a second day of negotiations between top administration officials and senior congressional staff trying to end the shutdown.

"And in this case, I think the President would be wide open to a court challenge saying, 'Where's the emergency, you have to establish that in order to do this, ' but beyond that it would be a bad use of defense dollars", he continued.

About 800,000 federal workers have been without pay since December 22.

The deadlock has seen US President Donald Trump withhold signing a bill to fully fund the government until he gets money to build a wall on the Mexican border.

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On the subject of federal employees working without pay, the president said those workers would want him to "keep going" on his fight for the wall.

"I would rather have the Supreme Court rule and then work with the Democrats on DACA", Trump said. "And I'm sure that the people that are toward the receiving end will make adjustments, they always do".

Her remarks sparked a backlash on social media, but it didn't seem to bother Pelosi very much.

In an interview on NBC, Republican Senator Susan Collins of ME called the debate about whether the barrier should be constructed out of concrete or steel "bizarre", and said she was frustrated that both sides "appear to be intransigent". She called the debate over using steel versus concrete "bizarre".

Trump told reporters that, while official ports of entry were strong, many miles of unprotected border existed, where drug and human traffickers could enter the US. "Not the other way around", Mr Hoyer said.

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