President Donald Trump had a message Tuesday for Democrats counting on him to relent in the Washington arm wrestle blocking funds to swaths of the government for a record 32 days: “No Cave!”
One month into a historic government shutdown, Republican senators are standing staunchly behind President Trump’s demand for money to build a border wall, even as the GOP bears the brunt of the blame for a standoff few in the party agitated for, according to interviews this past week with more than 40 Republican senators and aides.
“Without a Wall our Country can never have Border or National Security … The Dems know this but want to play political games. Must finally be done correctly,” Trump tweeted.
Trump was again seen blaming congressional Democrats for the chaos, insisting he will not lift his shutdown on federal government funding unless they approve his $US5.7 billion ($A8 billion) plan for more walls along the US-Mexican border.
Trump’s main opponent, Democrat leader Nancy Pelosi, was adamant on Tuesday that the president is to blame. “#EndTheShutdown now,” she tweeted.
Pelosi, speaker of the Democrat-led House, argues that border security funding cannot even be discussed before the shutdown ends, accusing Trump of “holding Americans hostage.”
Trump triggered a partial government shutdown on December 22 — refusing to sign off on funding everything from FBI salaries to national park services — as a way of pressuring the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives to back the wall project.
“If you’re not going to pay our bills, then send us back to work. That’s all we’re asking,” said Yvette Hicks, 40, a contractor at the Smithsonian museum complex. “People are losing their houses, people are losing their cars and everything.”
“Right now, this shutdown is really destroying me and my family,” she said. “I’m the mother and the father in my household, and my children depend on me.”
On Saturday, Trump made a rare attempt at compromise, telling Democrats he would extend temporary protection to about a million immigrants facing deportation if he gets his $5.7 billion in wall funding.