USA budget shutdown: I won't compromise on wall, says Trump

The Statue of Liberty in New York which has welcomed immigrants to the US since the 19th C remains open with New York state funds during the federal government shutdown

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks to reporters after meeting with President Donald Trump about border security in the Situation Room of the White House, Jan. 4, 2019.

The US government shutdown that has halted pay for hundreds of thousands of federal workers began its third week with no end in sight, as Vice-President Mike Pence, top White House officials and senior congressional aides met for more than two hours without reaching a deal to reopen the government.

President Trump said Sunday that he can "relate" to the plight of hundreds of thousands of federal workers anxious about having to get by without paychecks if the shutdown continues, though critics wondered if the president really had any comparable life experiences. She said the priority would be the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service, "an action necessary to make sure working families received their tax refunds on schedule".

Trump repeated his claim that many furloughed federal workers "agree 100 percent" with his demands, while asserting he also had "tremendous support within the Republican Party".

The president had not backed off the $5.6 billion figure and Democrats remained determined to deny funds for a "border wall".

Mr Trump is trying to convince the Democrats to approve around $5bn (£3.95bn) to build the wall, which he says is vital to stop illegal immigrants and criminals entering the US. While the House last week approved a pair of funding bills to re-open the federal government, Senate Republicans are not planning to bring those up on the floor, as the first bill up for consideration in 2019 will be on US foreign policy in the Middle East.

President Donald Trump will visit the US-Mexican border this week, his spokeswoman said Monday, in the latest bid to pressure Congress over border wall negotiations that have led to a partial government shutdown. -Mexico border as he doubles down on his demand for a wall amid the ongoing government shutdown.

The president also floated the idea of declaring a national emergency, thereby circumventing Congress to build his wall.

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The scheduled raises appeared to be an unintended effect of the government shutdown, The Associated Press reported. The move comes a week after Trump signed an executive order freezing non-military federal workers' 2019 pay.

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Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said in a separate interview on the same program that talks on Saturday to reopen the government "did not make much progress".

"Look, if Harry Truman couldn't nationalize the steel industry during wartime, this President doesn't have the power to declare an emergency and build a multibillion dollar wall on the border", Schiff said.

Always his own biggest booster, Trump declared himself "very proud of what I'm doing" after a meeting with congressional leaders on Friday that produced no breakthrough. "They don't like concrete, so we'll give them steel. He's not building a wall anymore, ' that should help us move in the right direction".

"I think we'll have to build a steel wall, as opposed to a concrete wall", he said.

Trump said the impasse may leave him no choice.

Employees of the Transportation Security Administration are expected to work without pay during the shutdown because their jobs are considered essential.

Democrats on Sunday released the text of four appropriations bills to immediately fund key parts of the federal government.

"The Democrats, for better or worse, think they are winning this battle politically", Mulvaney said.

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