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Trump, Democratic Leaders Remain At Impasse Over Border Wall


President Donald Trump met with Congressional leaders for the second time this week on Friday, although the two sides do not appear to have made much progress toward ending the partial U.S. government shutdown.

Trump stood by his demand for $5.6 billion for construction of his controversial border wall after the meeting and confirmed he told Democratic leaders he is willing to allow the government shutdown to continue for months or even years.

Nonetheless, Trump described the meeting as "very, very productive" and claimed Republicans and Democrats have "come a long way."

The president also said that negotiations would continue at a meeting over the weekend as the government shutdown enters its third week.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told reporters the discussions with Trump were "sometimes contentious" but noted the two sides agreed to continue to negotiate.

Asked whether any progress was made at the meeting, Pelosi said the two sides have a better understanding of each others' positions and have eliminated some possibilities.

Pelosi argued that the issue of funding for Trump's border wall cannot be resolved until the government is re-opened.

House Democrats voted Thursday to approve legislation that would end the partial government shutdown but did not include money for the wall.

One bill passed by the House would fund eight departments closed by the shutdown for the rest of the fiscal year, while another would fund the Department of Homeland Security through February 8th.

The bills would reopen the parts of the government affect by shutdown and give lawmakers more time to negotiate over the issue of funding for the border wall.

The legislation is not expected to make much further progress, however, as the White House has already threatened to veto the bills.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ken., has repeatedly stated the Senate will not vote on legislation that does not have the support of the president.

(Photo: Gage Skidmore)

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