Washington appears ready to ring in the new year with a partial government shutdown as both sides appear to have made little to no progress arguing over border wall funding.
President Trump and the Democrats remain at odds over funding for a border wall 10 days into the partial federal government shutdown.
“We are not willing to pay $2.5 billion or $5 billion and wasting taxpayer dollars on a ransom note because Donald Trump decided that he was going to shut down the government and hold the American people, hostage,” said Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY).
Rep. Jeffries told “ABC This Week” that Democrats are willing to provide money for other border security measures, but called the wall medieval.
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) said on Face the Nation that the Republican-controlled Senate will only take up a bill with the president’s support.
“Nobody wins in a shutdown. We all lose, and we kind of look silly,” he explained.
On Sunday President Trump called it the “Schumer Shutdown” despite taking responsibility for it just a few weeks ago, “I will be the one to shut it down. I’m not gonna blame you for it.”
Meanwhile, his aides and supporters — including Den. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) — took new aim at defining the wall, “the wall has become a metaphor for border security.”
Outgoing Chief of Staff John Kelly bluntly told the LA Times, “to be honest, it’s not a wall” — insisting it would instead be a mixture of steel slats and technological enhancements.
“It is a silly semantic argument people who want to say wall want it to be a four-letter word,” said Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway.
She also wouldn’t rule out a presidential veto if Congress passes a clean bill without border funding.
Democrats take control of the house on Thursday and are expected to pass a clean funding bill but it’s unclear if the Senate will follow suit without President Trump’s support.
-Tom Hanson reporting for CBS News