President Donald Trump invited leaders from both parties to the White House for a meeting to discuss negotiations over his border wall. According to CNN, it would be the first time top Democratic and Republican congressional leaders will have met with the president since the shutdown began on December 22 — and comes just a day before a new group of Democrats take their place as the majority in the House.
According to two sources familiar with the situation, on New Year’s Eve, President Trump invited Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, incoming House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi, House GOP leaders Steve Scalise and Kevin McCarthy, Democratic Whip Dick Durbin, and Majority Whip John Thune to sit down at the White House for a meeting on Wednesday.
The meeting is expected to include a briefing from Homeland Security Officials, and marks some of the only meaningful discussions that leaders from both parties will have had with the president since the shutdown began 11 days ago.
Democrats will take over leadership of the House tomorrow, and are expected to pass a bill that would reopen the government — but wouldn’t include any of the $5 billion the president has demanded for the planned wall at the U.S.-Mexico border. The funding has been a sticking point between Democrats and the president — and is the primary reason for the current partial government shutdown.
Trump has been firm in his position, blaming Democrats for the shutdown while saying that he won’t compromise on border security. He spent the weekend — the New Year’s holiday — taunting leaders on the left through social media.
“The Democrats, much as I suspected, have allocated no money for a new Wall. So imaginative! The problem is, without a Wall there can be no real Border Security,” he wrote Wednesday morning.
A few hours later, Trump tweeted a somewhat more conciliatory message.
“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?” the president wrote on Twitter.
Pelosi replied that she and other Democrats would take advantage of the opportunity to end the “irresponsible” shutdown.
“@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,” she wrote.
.@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 (@NancyPelosi) January 1, 2019
Trump believes that the public is on his side in the debate over the wall, per ABC 8 News, an element that he made a key part of his campaign and presidency. It is unclear if the Republican-led Senate would consider any bill put forward by the House that lacks wall funding.