President Trump and congressional leaders will meet in the White House at 11:30 Friday morning, but it’s hard to see how they’ll craft a deal to end a partial government shutdown that is hitting the two-week mark.
Trump remains dug in on his refusal to sign any funding bill that does not include $5 billion for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. Democrats remain insistent they will not provide the votes to give him that funding.
“We’re not doing the wall,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters Thursday night. “Does anybody have any doubt that we’re not doing the wall?”
“I think the president’s made it very clear: no wall, no deal,” Vice President Pence told Fox News about two hours after Pelosi’s press conference.
Democrats took control of the House of Representatives on Thursday and elected Pelosi to a post she first held from 2007 to 2011. In one of the first acts of the new Congress, the House passed a short-term bill funding the Department of Homeland Security for about a month and a measure providing money for every other federal department or agency currently without funding through the rest of the fiscal year, which goes through September.
The Homeland Security bill does not include Trump’s border wall demands. It passed on a 239-192 vote, with five House Republicans backing it. The broader bill passed 241-190, with seven GOP members voting for it.
Pelosi has framed the measures as a “Republican” solution to the impasse, because they mirror the spending bill the GOP-controlled Senate unanimously passed and sent to the House last month, before Trump reversed course and insisted any funding bill include wall money. Trump has issued a veto threat for the two bills. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said the Senate will not consider them, because he only wants to call a vote on a funding measure Trump would sign.
Friday morning’s White House meeting will include Pelosi and the rest of the so-called “Big 8”: the top two leaders from all four House and Senate caucuses. Congressional leaders met with Trump on Wednesday, but left with little sign of progress.