The Latest: Democrats plan to pass a bill funding Treasury
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on meetings between congressional aides and White House officials about the partial government shutdown (all times local):
As government shutdown talks remain at an impasse, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says House Democrats plan to start approving individual bills to reopen shuttered departments.
Pelosi said Saturday that they would start with Treasury to ensure Americans receive their tax refunds on schedule.
In an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” that will air Sunday, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney says the president is willing to deal.
Mulvaney says Trump is willing to forego a concrete wall for steel or other materials.
Trump has already suggested his definition of the wall is flexible. But Democrats have made clear they see a wall as immoral and ineffective and prefer other types of border security funded at already agreed upon levels.
White House officials and congressional aides kicked off weekend talks aimed at ending a partial government shutdown that has dragged into a 15th day.
Vice President Mike Pence, who led the conversation, described Saturday’s session as “productive” on Twitter, although no breakthrough was reached. The White House aides and Democratic and Republican staffers planned to return to the talks on Sunday.
Negotiations have been at an impasse over President Donald Trump’s demands for $5.6 billion to fund a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.
A White House official said the meeting included a briefing on border security by Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. Democrats restated their request to reopen government while border security talks continue, which the White House rejected. Democrats also sought written details on Department of Homeland Security needs, which the White House said it would provide.
White House officials and congressional staffers will continue negotiations Saturday over the government shutdown, even after President Donald Trump declared he could keep it going for “months or even years.”
Trump met Friday with congressional leaders from both parties as the shutdown hit the two-week mark amid an impasse over his demand for billions of dollars for a border wall with Mexico. Democrats emerged from the meeting, which both sides said was contentious at times, to report little if any progress.
Trump has designated Vice President Mike Pence, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and adviser Jared Kushner to work with a congressional delegation at a meeting set for 11 a.m. Saturday.
Trump is framing the upcoming weekend talks as progress, while Democrats are emphasizing families unable to pay bills.