Skip to main content

White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner, left, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, and Vice President Mike Pence, talk as they walk down the steps of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019, in Washington.

Alex Brandon/The Associated Press

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and other senior Trump administration officials met on Saturday with Democratic congressional staffers to try to break a deadlock over a proposed border wall and end a two-week-old partial government shutdown.

President Donald Trump is demanding $5.6 billion to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico but Democrats in control of the House of Representatives this week passed a bill to reopen the government without providing additional funding for the wall.

Trump says he will not sign the bill until he gets the money for the wall.

Story continues below advertisement

With the two sides sticking to their positions, a quarter of the federal government has been closed for two weeks, leaving 800,000 public workers unpaid.

Before entering the talks on Saturday, Pence said in a tweet that the administration’s goal was not just to end the shutdown but “to provide funding to end the crisis at our southern border, achieve real border security & to build the wall!”

Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and a senior adviser, also attended the meeting at the White House, along with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and new White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.

They were negotiating with senior staff for the top Democrats in Congress.

Nancy Pelosi, the new Democratic speaker of the House of Representatives, said this week that Trump’s proposed wall was “immoral” and a “waste of money.”

Trump reiterated his demand for a border wall in a series of tweets on Saturday.

“The Democrats could solve the Shutdown problem in a very short period of time,” Trump said. “All they have to do is approve REAL Border Security (including a Wall), something which everyone, other than drug dealers, human traffickers and criminals, want very badly!”

Story continues below advertisement

Trump threatened on Friday to take the step of using emergency powers to build the wall without Congress’ approval. Such a move would almost certainly be met with legal challenges.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter
To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies