Not much headway made on govt shutdown, says Trump

Washington: United States President Donald Trump said not much headway was made during the meeting with US administration officials and congressional staff, as the government shutdown entered the 15th day on Saturday (local time).

The partial shutdown was triggered due to a stalemate between the White House and lawmakers over Trump’s demand for billions of dollars to fund his proposed US-Mexico border wall.

Taking to Twitter post the meeting, Trump said: “V.P. Mike Pence and team just left the White House. Briefed me on their meeting with the Schumer/Pelosi representatives. Not much headway made today. Second meeting set for tomorrow. After so many decades, must finally and permanently fix the problems on the Southern Border!”

Members of the Trump administration and congressional leaders have held discussions multiple time since the government partially shut down a fortnight ago. However, the two parties have not yet arrived at a consensus, thus leading to the possibility of an extension in the shutdown.

Sources privy to the matter told CNN that “baby steps” were made during Saturday’s meeting, but Democrats asked for an official justification from the Trump administration on the demand for USD 5.6 billion funding for building the wall.

Furthermore, another source informed that Democratic aides asserted that they needed the government open, following which negotiations would be held on border security.

“Democrats want an updated budget request because the last one is a year old and asked for only USD 1.6 billion. They want to see what the Department of Homeland Security would be willing to cut to make the request work from a budgetary standpoint,” CNN quoted the source as saying.