Talks on reopening US government end with no breakthrough

White House officials, congressional aides cannot agree on ending government shutdown, will meet again Sunday.

Ben Ariel ,

White House
White House

White House officials and congressional aides on Saturday held talks to reopen the government without a breakthrough, but they planned to return to the table the following day, The Associated Press reported.

President Donald Trump tweeted, “Not much headway made today.” Democrats agreed there had been little movement, saying the White House did not budge on the president’s key demand, $5.6 billion to build a wall along the US-Mexico border.

The White House said funding was not discussed in-depth, but the administration was clear they needed funding for a wall and that they wanted to resolve the shutdown all at once.

The two-hour session was led by Vice President Mike Pence. A White House official said the meeting included a briefing on border security by Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. Democrats sought written details from the Department of Homeland Security on their budget needs, which the White House said it would provide.

With talks stalled, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that House Democrats plan to start approving individual bills to reopen shuttered departments starting with Treasury to ensure Americans receive their tax returns.

“While President Trump threatens to keep the government shut down for ‘years’, Democrats are taking immediate further action to re-open government, so that we can meet the needs of the American people, protect our borders and respect our workers,” Pelosi said, referring to Trump’s comments from Friday, when he told Democrat leaders he could keep the government closed for "months or even years" until he gets his desired wall funding.

Trump had campaigned on the promise that Mexico would pay for the border wall. Mexico has refused and Trump is now demanding the money from Congress.

On Thursday, the US House of Representatives passed legislation to end the partial government shutdown, but the measures appear to be dead on arrival in the Senate and have been rejected by Trump as they do not include the funding for the wall.