(Bloomberg) — The partial U.S. government shutdown entered its sixth day on Thursday as the White House and lawmakers remain at odds over President Donald Trump’s demands to fund a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
There’s little indication of any imminent agreement to resolve the standoff as the Christmas holiday in the U.S. passed and the new Congress is set to convene next week.Trump is demanding $5 billion for the wall, while Democratic leaders have proposed $1.3 billion for border security.Congressional leaders remained out of town, while Trump made an unannounced visit to U.S. troops in Iraq.The Senate is scheduled to reconvene on Thursday but no schedule has been announced. There are no votes planned in the House. Lawmakers will be given 24 hours notice if there is a breakthrough that would require a vote.
Trump said during the Iraq visit that the shutdown would last as long as it takes to get the funding he wants for the border wall and additional security.The president declined to say what level of funding he’d accept.Republicans said they were waiting for a counteroffer from Democrats to the proposal said to have been made by Vice President Mike Pence on Saturday of $2.1 billion for new border barriers, along with $400 million for other Trump immigration priorities.Even with most lawmakers out of town, some discussions were taking place, according to congressional aides.Trump is scheduled to return to Washington on Thursday.
Granted, it’s the Christmas season and a lot of people are disconnected, but I’ve not witnessed anyone much noticing that the government is shut down – much less being upset by it. It doesn’t seem that the shutdown has changed minds, swayed public opinion, or changed the political calculus in any way.