Congressional Leaders Get Briefing On Border As Impacts Of Partial Shutdown Grow

Cindy Vanessa Mendez kneels over her father's body. Omar Mendez Perez died after being left behind by human smugglers after he fell ill and was unable to keep

Nearly 400 Migrants Died Crossing Unsecured U.S. Border in 2018

Experience a unusual sense of deja vu after witnessing President Donald Trump's strategy to end the partial government shutdown in his first encounter with a divided Congress?

The visit by Ms Pelosi and Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer would be their first to the White House since their sharp exchange with Mr Trump in the Oval Office on 11 December during which the president told them he would be "proud to shut down the government for border security". $5.6 Billion Dollars that House has approved is very little in comparison to the benefits of National Security.

"Could be a long time or could be quickly", Trump said during lengthy comments at a Cabinet meeting at the White House, his first public appearance of the new year.

The partial shutdown is now in its 12th day, with 800,000 federal workers either required to work or on furlough, but none of them receiving paychecks.

"I don't think any particular progress was made today, but we talked all aspects of it and it was a civil discussion", McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said on the Senate floor after the meeting. Trump could actually make this worse by offering something like a DACA deal and daring Democrats to reject it.

That would make it possible for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to send Trump a bill to reopen most of the government, while setting aside the fight over the wall.

And as incompetent as Paul Ryan had proven himself to be at the task of delivering a bill that Trump found palatable, Pelosi would be even less likely to deliver anything that meets his exacting, xenophobic standards.

Prospects for the two-part Democratic spending package that will be voted upon in the House appear grim in the Senate. He called the border a "sieve", rebutted Democratic complaints that a wall was immoral, provided an estimate of the USA illegal immigrant population far higher than the figures most experts cite and made disputed comments about progress toward building a wall. That offer was made when Vice President Mike Pence and other top officials met with Schumer at the start of the shutdown.

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Nancy Pelosi is expected to become the Speaker of the House of Representatives for the second time after Democrats take control of the chamber on Thursday.

Additional investigations could bog down a White House already besieged by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation collusion probe, draining energy from the administration's agenda and foiling Trump's message.

"Tomorrow we will bring to the floor legislation that will open up government", Pelosi told reporters on Wednesday indicating that the Democrats would continue with their current proposal.

She and the Democratic leadership would have the power to block Republican legislation, hamstringing large parts of Trump's agenda ranging from proposed new tax cuts to building a wall on the border with Mexico.

The White House did not respond to HuffPost queries about whether Trump understood that what he was saying was false and, if he did, why he was doing so anyway.

The Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is among those institutions closed due to the partial government shutdown. But they have drawn the line at the use of any taxpayer money for the erection of a new wall. Major agencies like the Pentagon and the Health and Human Services Department have already been funded through the end of the fiscal year September 30, thanks to spending bills passed by Congress earlier last year.

The agencies that are unfunded and in shutdown mode include the Homeland Security Department that pays for the wall, as well as the Agriculture, Justice, Interior, Transportation, State and Housing departments. That's partly because most of the federal government is immune.

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