Trump threatens gov't shutdown will last months or even years, Democrats say

EFE

Democratic leaders of Congress said that US President Donald Trump , with whom they met on Friday for the second time this week, would put no time limits on the current government shutdown.

"We told the president we needed the government open. He resisted. In fact, he said he'd keep the government closed for a very long period of time, months or even years," Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer said upon leaving the meeting at the White House .

The US administration decreed its third partial shutdown last Dec. 22 after negotiations between Republicans and Democrats in Congress went nowhere, due to Trump's demand that the next budget proposal include more than $5 billion to finance construction of the border wall.

In response, the new Democratic speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi , who has often repeated that there will be no more funds for building the wall, noted Friday that Democrats are nonetheless "committed" to border security.

"We are committed to keeping our border safe. We can do that best when government is open. We made that clear to the president," Pelosi said after the meeting.

"We made some progress," the Democrat added, without giving more details.

The lower house of Congress, led by Pelosi, passed several bills on Thursday to end the partial shutdown of the government and which include no funding for the border wall. They will now be voted on by the Senate.

With a vote of 239-192, the lawmakers passed a short-term spending bill to fund the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) until Feb. 8.

Funding up to next Nov. 30 for another six agencies of the Trump government was passed with a 241-190 vote.

The bills are not likely to obtain Senate approval because of its Republican majority.

The administrative paralysis, which has gone on for two weeks, affects 10 government agencies including Transportation and Justice, as well as dozens of national parks, which are popular tourist attractions.

It also harms some 800,000 of the 2.1 million federal employees, who will not be paid as long as the US government continues its shutdown and who rely on the approval of a new federal budget.

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