President Donald Trump. (Jabin Botsford/Washington Post)

Each side accusing other of giving no ground on U.S. shutdown

Donald Trump’s key demand is $5.6 billion to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border

A first round of talks between White House officials and congressional aides has made little progress toward ending the government shutdown, with each side accusing the other of giving no ground.

More discussions were planned for Sunday, while President Donald Trump, who did not attend the negotiating session, was scheduled to be at Camp David for a retreat with White House staff on border security and other topics.

With the talks stalled, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said House Democrats intend to start passing individual bills to reopen agencies. The first would be the Treasury Department, to ensure people receive their tax refunds.

“Not much headway made today,” Trump tweeted on Saturday after receiving a briefing from the team led by Vice-President Mike Pence.

Democrats said the White House did not budge on the president’s key demand, $5.6 billion to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. The White House said money was not discussed in depth, but the administration was clear about the need for a wall and the goal of resolving the shutdown all at once, not piecemeal.

Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he believes Democrats “think they’re winning the PR battle and they’re willing to drag this out because they think it hurts the president.” Democrats familiar with the meeting said the White House position was “untenable.”

READ MORE: Talks to resume after Trump says shutdown could last ‘years’

A White House official said the meeting included a briefing on border security by Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. Democrats sought written details from the Department of Homeland Security on their budget needs; the White House said it would provide that.

Mulvaney said Trump was willing to forgo a concrete wall for steel or other materials.

“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? He’s not building a wall anymore,’ that should help us move in the right direction,” Mulvaney told NBC.

The president has suggested his definition of the wall is flexible, referring to slats and other “border things.” Democrats have made clear they see a wall as immoral and ineffective and prefer other types of border security funded at already agreed upon levels.

Trump had campaigned on the promise that Mexico would pay for the wall. Mexico has refused. He’s now demanding the money from Congress.

Catherine Lucey And Lisa Mascaro, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

$3.5M all-season turf field planned for Qualicum Beach

Town seeks grant for community playing surface upgrades

Qualicum Beach council big on support for multi-use cinema proposal

Society asks for 10,000 square feet, gets recommendation to consider with strategic plan

Lincoln stolen from Parksville dealership found near Duncan

Vehicle was located three days later with minor damage

Ballenas student experiment going into space

Science experiment designed by five SD69 students will travel to International Space Station

Fire engulfs trailer, vehicle and home in Bowser

The fire began around 6:45 p.m. at a property on Laurel Crescent

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

Body of Canadian miner found after African kidnapping

Kirk Woodman’s body was discovered 100 kilometres from the site where he worked for Progress Mineral Mining Company in Burkina Faso

Study finds more than half of food produced in Canada wasted

The study released Thursday is the world’s first to measure food waste using data from industry and other sources instead of estimates

Snowed-in Austrian nuns insist they’re staying put

Authorities have deployed heavy equipment to clear snow and fallen trees blocking the road to the monastery

‘Nanaimo is next’ for urgent primary care centre

B.C. Health Minister says new centre coming in next few months to reduce the strain on health system

Chiasson nets shootout winner as Oilers edge Canucks 3-2

Edmonton moves one point ahead of Vancouver

B.C. chief says they didn’t give up rights for gas pipeline to be built

Hereditary chief: no elected band council or Crown authority has jurisdiction over Wet’suwet’en land

Thieves steal thousands from 140 Coast Capital Savings members

Online fraud tactics included phising and ‘brute force’ in November and December

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

Most Read