GOP Sen. Shelby Pessimistic on End of Government Shutdown

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"Important meeting today on Border Security with Republican and Democrat Leaders in Congress".

Trump listens as Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, talks about border security.

Earlier in the day, the president at his first cabinet meeting of the new year once again reiterated his case for the border wall.

Mr Trump asserted it was essential to keep out illegal immigrants, amid a row over its funding which has led to a partial government shutdown in the US.

In his first cabinet meeting of the new year, the president said the shutdown would last as long as it took to get his funding, adding "could be a long time or could be quickly".

Trump himself suggested Wednesday the shutdown will last "as long as it takes" to resolve his demands for billions of dollars from Congress to build a border wall.

Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he had no plans to consider bills proposed by the House unless Trump agrees to sign them into law.

"If Leader McConnell tonight would put the bill that's passing the House on the floor, it would pass", Schumer said, noting that the measures previously had been backed by Senate Republicans.

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This would allow negotiations over Trump's request for $5 billion for a border wall to continue while the rest of the government would continue operating. Could we do it for a little bit less? "It's so insignificant compared to what we're talking about".

As Democrats battle with President Donald Trump on border wall funding and the partial government shutdown continues, House Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is defended her vacation in Hawaii amid the shutdown while taking a jab at the president.

The end of Trump's one-party rule in Washington invigorated Democrats still dejected over the bombastic Republican's 2016 presidential win.

In an interview with Fox News on Monday, Trump said that he was ready to end the shutdown. "Let's make a deal?" he tweeted. But he was acquitted in the Senate, as no Democrat voted to convict - a scenario, some observers say, that would be likely to repeat in a Republican Senate should Trump be impeached. "The president knows that". The project's total price tag is estimated at $US23b.

Democrats sought to lower expectations for the gathering.

For that to occur, aides in both parties acknowledge, one side is going to have to move off of positions they've proclaimed to be exceedingly comfortable in holding.

The House majority now passes to the Democrats following the November mid-term elections. "The Constitution also calls for the President to 'from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, '" Pelosi wrote in her invitation to the president Thursday night.

The Democratic package to end the shutdown would include one bill to temporarily fund the Department of Homeland Security at current levels - with $1.3 billion for border security, far less than Trump has said he wants for the wall - through February 8 as talks would continue. But when pressed in private by Democrats asking why he wouldn't end the shutdown, he responded at one point, "I would look foolish if I did that".

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