President Donald Trump told Congress he is ready to cut a deal on wall funding in order to end the partial government shutdown as soon as possible, but claimed he did not care for the fact that most of the workers being affected by the current situation are Democrats in a series of tweets this Saturday.
“I don’t care that most of the workers not getting paid are Democrats, I want to stop the Shutdown as soon as we are in agreement on Strong Border Security!” the U.S. president tweeted on Saturday morning.
“I am in the White House ready to go, where are the Dems?” he added, about an hour before a scheduled meeting between Democrats and his administration officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, and advisers Stephen Miller and Jared Kushner, who is also Trump’s son-in-law.
The group were seen exiting the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, just next to the White House, after having gathered for about two hours. Donald Trump continued his Twitter rant during the meeting, arguing that a border wall is necessary because of drug and “human trafficking.”
“In 2018, 1.7 million pounds of narcotics seized, 17,000 adults arrested with criminal records, and 6000 gang members, including MS-13, apprehended,” he wrote. He also added that while Democrats demanded “billions of dollars” for Foreign Aid, they would refuse to agree on providing “a small fraction of that number” to build a wall on the United States and Mexico border.
A family can't close on their new home. A federal employee struggles to pay for her wedding.
— CNN (@CNN) January 5, 2019
Trump has warned that the government shutdown can go on for “months or even years” if Congressional Democrats don’t approve funding for the border wall, as reported by the Guardian. Saturday became the 15th day of the shutdown, which has already started affecting the lives of public workers. While the U.S. president hailed the weekend meetings as progress, Democrats once again reiterated the fact that the families of government workers are not able to pay their bills while the shutdown lasts.
The federal shutdown is emptying labs, forcing scientists from the field and disrupting time-sensitive studies and grants https://t.co/ktlmbt0U0s
— The New York Times (@nytimes) January 5, 2019
Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer revealed Donald Trump’s threat during a news conference on Friday, accusing him of keeping federal workers “hostage” in exchange for having his way. Trump promised during his presidency campaign that Mexico would be the one paying for the wall, which has not yet happened. His allies now claim that a new trade deal, which has not yet been officially approved by Congress, will result in enough savings to meet the President’s promise.