U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday invited congressional leaders to a bipartisan briefing on border security at the White House on Wednesday amid a partial government shutdown.
The president had said earlier on Tuesday that he is “ready, willing and able” to negotiate an end to the partial government shutdown that stretched into its 11th day and a new calendar year on January 1, but insists any agreement include funding for “a good old fashioned wall” on the U.S.-Mexico border.
After 11 days of no progress, the president signaled on Twitter that he’s ready to make a deal.
“Border Security and the Wall ‘thing’ and Shutdown is not where Nancy Pelosi wanted to start her tenure as Speaker! Let’s make a deal?” he tweeted.
When the new Congress opens Thursday, House Democratic leaders plan to introduce and quickly pass bills to reopen the government and bring more than 800,000 federal workers back on the job and paid on time.
But the leaders say the House bills will not include money for President Donald Trump’s southern border wall, making passage in the Senate less certain.
Trump wants $5 billion as a down payment on the barrier that could cost more than $20 billion. Democrats have offered to approve $1.3 billion for other border security efforts, but not the wall.
Trump and Democratic lawmakers have not held any negotiations for days over the dispute.
As the government shutdown enters its 12th day Wednesday, tourists to the nation’s capital will find some of the city’s most popular attractions closed Wednesday because of the federal government shutdown.
Money to keep Smithsonian museums open — including the hugely popular Air and Space Museum — has run out. The National Zoo with its famous pandas will also be closed. The National Gallery of Art will lock its doors Thursday.