The partial shutdown of the U.S. government entered its fifth day Wednesday, with no public indication a resolution is imminent.
President Donald Trump spoke about the shutdown Tuesday, asserting that it will continue until his demand for funds to construct a U.S.-Mexico border wall are met.
“I can’t tell you when the government is going to be open. I can tell you it’s not going to be open until we have a wall, a fence, whatever they’d like to call it,” Trump said in the Oval Office after a video conference with U.S. troops, who are stationed overseas.
Trump claimed the hundreds of thousands of federal workers who are furloughed due to the shutdown also want the wall, despite a lack of evidence supporting the contention.
On Monday, Trump asserted Democrats “must end” the standoff while Democratic leaders in Congress blamed Trump for “plunging the country into chaos.”
“The president wanted the shutdown, but seems not to know how to get himself out of it,” Senator Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and incoming House speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote in a joint statement. ”
While government agencies dealing with national security and public safety remain open, other offices are closed and 800,000 federal workers are on furlough. Those who are considered to be essential employees are reporting for duty, but will not get a paycheck for that work until the shutdown is over.
Trump has demanded $5 billion for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Democrats have offered $1.3 billion for other border security measures.
The president canceled his Christmas vacation to his Florida resort because of the impasse with Congress.
“I am all alone (poor me) in the White House waiting for the Democrats to come back and make a deal on desperately needed Border Security,” he tweeted Monday. “At some point, the Democrats not wanting to make a deal will cost our Country more than the Border Wall we are all talking about. Crazy.”